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British sports car brand Lotus to produce EVs in Wuhan

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-08-31 15:13

Lotus cars on display at an exhibition in Shanghai on Oct 20, 2019. [Photo/IC]

Lotus Cars is to unveil four electric vehicles by 2026, as the British sports car maker owned by China's Geely Holding Group accelerates its electrification campaign.

Of them, there will be an SUV that will come out in 2022 and a five-door sedan in 2023, said Lotus CEO Feng Qingfeng at an online event on Tuesday to celebrate the establishment of Wuhan Lotus Technology in Central China's Hubei province.

Lotus said it has appropriated 26.3 billion yuan ($4.06 billion) for its operations in the city, including an 8 billion yuan plant that will become operational later this year.

With an annual production capacity of 150,000 units, it is British carmaker's first plant outside of the United Kingdom.

Lotus said the Wuhan facility will produce those vehicles designed for daily use, while the UK plant will manufacture electric and gasoline hyper cars.

In an interview with Sohu earlier this month, Feng said there will be two SUVs in Lotus' future product portfolio, but he did not give the details.

Lotus launched its first electric car, the Evija, a 1,972-horsepower coupe that costs about $2 million, in 2019. The Evija is produced in Lotus's plant in Hethel, the UK.

Feng said a preliminary sales goal of the brand would be 100,000 units a year, adding that Lotus will explore global markets. "So it has many markets, in addition to China," said Feng.

Lotus said it has finished a financing round, with Nio Capital, the investment arm of Chinese electric-car startup Nio, as part of the investor lineup. 

Bloomberg reported that Lotus is valued at 15 billion yuan ($2.3 billion) citing people familiar with the matter.

Analysts said Lotus will enable Geely to enter the luxury segment. It already has volume brands including Geely and Lynk &Co as well as premium brand Volvo.

Geely purchased a 51 percent stake in Group Lotus in 2017, including Lotus Cars and consultancy Lotus Engineering.

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