Geely has started building a $1.3 billion assembly plant for its high-end brands, including Lotus, in Wuhan, China.
The Wuhan factory is set to become the British brand’s first factory outside the United Kingdom. Geely estimates that the new facility will begin vehicle production in two years, having a capacity of 150,000 ICE and electrified vehicles per year.
So far Geely hasn’t announced which other brands are going to be using the new factory in Wuhan, aside from Lotus, AutoNews reports.
Geely Holding Group has bought a 49.9 percent stake in Proton in 2017. Under the same deal, the Chinese auto giant also got a 51 percent stake in Lotus from the Malaysian car maker.
Premium brands in Geely’s portfolio include Volvo, Lynk & Co and the now standalone Polestar; all three of them could get a portion of the capacity offered by Geely’s new Chinese factory.
For years, Lotus has been rumored to be working on its first-ever SUV model, which is expected to be produced in China. However, the British brand’s new CEO has been keeping any crossover-related information to himself, focusing instead into the DNA of Lotus, which is of course sports cars.
In fact the new Lotus boss has already confirmed that a new sports car is coming in 2020, which is expected to be based on a “heavily revised” version of the Evora’s aluminum platform. This will be the first new Lotus since the company was bought by Geely, with the all-new Elise, Exige and Evora to follow in 2022 or 2023.