(Yicai Global) Aug. 31 -- Lotus Cars, a British sports car brand majority owned by China’s Geely Holding Group, plans to open a global headquarters in the Chinese city of Wuhan costing CNY26.3 billion (USD4 billion).
CNY6.3 billion (USD975.2 million) will go to construct a 124,000-square-meters HQ park in the Wuhan Economic and Technological Development Zone, the UK-based firm told Yicai Global today. CNY8 billion will be used to build a new plant, while the remaining CNY12 billion will fund research and development of products and technology.
Lotus began construction of its vehicle plant in Wuhan, Hubei province, in 2019. That is expected to be completed and put into operation this year.
Lotus will launch five pure electric models over the next five years, covering sport utility vehicles, coupes and small sports cars, it said today. In addition, automaker said it will not release new fuel-driven vehicles any more.
Lotus plans to open its first retail store in Shanghai at the end of 2021. It expects to expand the business to Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hangzhou next year, the company said. It will also expand overseas, first in Europe and then in North America and the Asia Pacific, Lotus added.
With a history of more than 70 years, Lotus was acquired by Malaysian automaker Proton in 1996. Geely bought 49.9 percent of Proton and a 51 percent stake in Lotus from Proton’s parent company DRB-Hicom in 2017.
Lotus’ valuation recently reached CNY15 billion after receiving investment from Chinese electric vehicle unicorn Nio, but it did not disclose the exact amount and shareholding ratio, Bloomberg News reported yesterday.
Editors: Dou Shicong, Peter Thomas