Elite Supercar Maker Lotus Enters The Electric Vehicle Race
Lotus, the automaker responsible for high-end sports cars, will soon shift gears. The UK car brand plans to sell only electric cars by 2028 as part of a £2.5b investment push.
- Lotus will bring at least 275 jobs to their Hethel plant near Norwich.
- Majority owner Geely will fund the expansion into the world of EV.
- Lotus will make SUVs out of a new plant in China.
- The strategic shift will look to make up for a loss in sales.
Sports cars, that’s what people tend to think whenever Lotus is said out loud. That was until yesterday, when the company announced plans to increase their output tenfold, adding lifestyle vehicles to their lineup.
The planned expansion will be funded by China multinational company Geely, who happens to own the majority of Lotus and Volvo Cars. A total of £2.5bn will go into this venture which involves opening a new plant in China.
“This plan will take us into new segments, and new parts of the market.”
— Matt Windle, Managing Director of Lotus
Lotus is taking some big risks with this announcement, which includes production on SUVs; a far cry from what the brand is known for, but an exciting prospect nonetheless.
Both Porsche and Ferrari have made similar SUV vehicle announcements. They’ll continue to make high-performance sports cars, of course. How they fare in a bustling lifestyle vehicle market, however, is another question entirely.
Changing the face of Lotus for the greater good
Lotus brand SUVs will be made at the proposed China plant, as the UK site focuses more on traditional sports cars. Last year the company lost money, selling fewer than 1,400 cars. Lotus will double down on production, diversifying their catalogue in the process.
Matt Windle, Managing Director of Lotus, told the Financial Times: “When the lifestyle products and the new sports cars come along, we will be talking about tens of thousands of cars a year, rather than thousands.” More production requires more hands on deck, with Lotus looking to bring at least 275 jobs to their Hethel plant near Norwich.
According to Windle, the company will be fully electric “before the end of the decade.” Lotus will soon release the Emira, a V6 sports car, the last to run on an internal combustion engine; the end of an era.
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