Li Shufu, the Chinese billionaire who purchased Volvo from Ford and oversaw the company’s successful resurgence has just acquired another storied, troubled car brand to turn around: Lotus.
Li’s Geely Holding Group announced, yesterday, that it will buy a 49.9 percent of Malaysian automaker Proton, as well as a 51 percent stake in Lotus Cars. For Geely, Lotus could act as a prestigious “halo” brand, “like Volkswagen has Porsche and Toyota has its Lexus,” explains Tian Yongqiu, an independent auto consultant who tracks Chinese car maker acquisitions.
Li Shufu Now Owns Both Volvo and Lotus
Lotus has a history of using other car makers’ engines in its lightweight sports cars. If that history is a guide, we could see a featherweight Lotus powered by Volvo’s super-efficient, twin-charged T6 engine in the near future. There’s even talk of an ultra-sporty Lotus SUV coming hot on the heels of Geely’s expected cash injection into the British car brand. Could it be based on the all-new Volvo XC60? Should it be based on the new XC60?
Let us know what you think of Geely’s new acquisition- and whether or not you think Lotus and Volvo will make good partners- in the comments.