It won't be long until we start seeing Lotus produce cars in China it seems.
That's right, Lotus' new parent company Geely will soon be opening a $1.3 billion (about Php 68.7 billion) factory in Wuhan City for the British sports car maker according to Reuters. It will be the company's first shake up with Lotus after purchasing a 51% majority stake back in October 2017.
The new plant is supposedly part of Geely's plan to produce more upmarket vehicles, while also ditching their past reputation of copying other automakers' designs. As for Lotus, this will surely prove as a means to enhance production volume by outsourcing manufacturing from their Hethel plant in Norfolk, UK.
But don't think that all Lotus cars will be made in China in the not so distant future. Geely and Lotus confirmed that Norfolk will still be the home of manufacturing for most Lotus cars. The new plant in China will serve as a key part to further expand the brand's manufacturing, as well as part of the brand's revival under new management.
When completed, the new Wuhan plant will apparently be capable of producing up to 150,000 cars annually. While we're not entirely sure yet as to what kind of vehicle Lotus will produce in Wuhan, our best guess is that it will be the production site of their new crossover.
Back in November 2017, leaked patent images of what appeared to be a high-riding Lotus made their way onto the internet. Resembling a Lotus Elise on stilts, it keeps the familiar styling cues of the iconic sports car albeit made longer, taller and wider. It has a sloping roof design, short front and rear overhangs, a huge front grill, cirular taillights, and dual exhausts out the back. Power will most likely come from a turbocharged Volvo engine instead of a Toyota-sourced motor since Geely plans to use technology found only within Volvo and Lotus (Geely also owns Volvo).
Besides plans to build Lotus' first-ever sports luxury crossover, the new China plant will supposedly be used for making electric powertrains, battery-powered cars, and hybrids. Also, we will not be surprised if the new factory will also be the site of several Volvo and Geely car production in order to maximize the plant's capacity.