Geely-Owned Luxury Carmaker Lotus’ China Revival Falls Short
Xiao Yisi
DATE:  Feb 06 2024
/ SOURCE:  Yicai
Geely-Owned Luxury Carmaker Lotus’ China Revival Falls Short Geely-Owned Luxury Carmaker Lotus’ China Revival Falls Short

(Yicai) Feb. 6 -- The revival plan for the Chinese market of Lotus Cars, a UK luxury carmaker owned by China’s Geely Holding Group, has not shown the expected results.

Lotus sold only 96 cars in the first four weeks of this year, Yicai learned from insurance data. Sixty-six were of the Eletre, an electric sports-utility vehicle model launched last March, and 30 of the Emeya, an all-electric coupe model released in the first week of January. The Eletre reported single-digital sales for three consecutive weeks.

Lotus has not yet released its sales data for last year. It only said it received about 17,000 orders worldwide. But Yicai calculated from the Chinese car insurance data that there were only 2,209 insured Lotus cars in China last year.

Even though China’s demand for EVs is rapidly growing, the country’s new energy vehicle market is the most competitive worldwide, industry insiders told Yicai. Therefore, Lotus is not only competing with other established luxury brands such as Porsche in China but also with domestic luxury brands, including the BYD’s Yangwang.

The competition in the Chinese auto market will intensify this year, so Lotus will face intense pressure if it wants to break through, several car companies’ executives told Yicai.

Lotus used to be on par with Ferrari and Porsche before, but since the 1990s, it has focused on the niche supercar market and has slowly fallen into operating difficulties. It sold only 1,600 units worldwide in 2016.

Malaysian carmaker Proton acquired Lotus in 1996 and sold it to Geely in 2017. Afterward, the Chinese firm formulated a plan to revive the Lotus brand in China and appointed Mao Jingbo, who had more than 20 years of experience in luxury brand operations, as president of Lotus China in November 2022.

Mao was previously the president for Asia Pacific and China at Lincoln, the luxury brand owned by US auto giant Ford. During her four-year tenure, she helped Lincoln achieve localized production in China, driving the brand’s annual sales to 91,621 units in 2021 from 55,315 units in 2018.

Editors: Tang Shihua, Futura Costaglione

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Keywords:   Lotus,Geely