Geely, the Chinese owner of Lotus, is allegedly toying with a $1.9 billion overhaul to the company, which would involve expansion to both its manufacturing facilities and large-scale hiring.
Sources familiar with those considering the deal reportedly told Bloomberg that the investment would involve bringing in 200 engineers destined for Lotus's existing factory in Hethel, Norfolk. Geely reportedly confirmed plans to open a new design studio in Coventry, in the West Midlands, and is alleged to be considering plans for a second manufacturing plant nearby. Also allegedly on Geely's radar is a Lotus plant in its home country of China.
"Geely is fully committed to restoring Lotus into being a leading global luxury brand," it told Bloomberg.
The Chinese holding company also seeks to increase its 51 percent stake in Lotus by buying shares from Etika Automotive, which owns the other 49 percent.
Improved facilities would be a necessity for the low-volume automaker to accommodate an expansion to its model range, which it hopes to model on Porsche's with its highly-profitable Cayenne and Macan crossovers. Lotus's own crossover is expected in 2022 and could dip into Volvo's parts bin (Geely also owns Volvo) for ease of construction and cost savings.
Lotus also has plans to deploy two new models in 2020, one of which will be an aluminum-framed supercar, and is expected to utilize a Toyota-derived engine like Lotus's current sports cars. Details on the other model—known only to be a sports car—are unavailable. A renewed Elise or modern Elan would be delightful.