Currently reading: Lotus models to be built in new China factory
New $1.3 billion facility in Wuhan will aid introduction of more diverse line-up; sports car production to remain in the UK
Felix Page Autocar writer
News
2 mins read
17 January 2019

Future Lotus models are set to be produced in China, as owner Geely is developing a $1.3 billion (£1.01 billion) factory with a capacity of 150,000 vehicles a year.

According to a Reuters report, the facility in Wuhan would provide an opportunity for the Norfolk-based sports car manufacturer to build SUVs as part of its expansion under Geely ownership. The bulk of production at the new site would be taken up by Geely models, however.

Lotus stated: “Lotus Cars is undergoing an exciting resurgence with the backing of Geely, and expanding the brand's manufacturing footprint globally is a key part of the company's strategy.”

As reported by Autocar last year, Geely is planning a £1.5 billion investment in Lotus, with the aim of diversifying its line-up. 

A Porsche Cayenne-rivalling SUV model due in 2020 will begin a planned model expansion for Lotus beyond sports cars, in line with Geely’s commitment to “restoring Lotus into being a leading global luxury brand”.

A limited-run, £2 million electric hypercar is set to be revealed later this year in concept form, with development well under way at Lotus's Hethel facility.

The opening of the Chinese factory is not thought to threaten UK jobs. As part of Geely’s plan, Lotus SUVs are set to be built in China while production of sports models, such as the Elise and Exige, will remain at Hethel.

A company spokesperson said: “Lotus and our shareholders are fully committed to manufacturing at Hethel for Lotus sports cars and expanding our HQ here in Norfolk with investment in the site... and recruitment of staff.”

Geely is keen to leverage Lotus’ history, with company boss Li Shufu stating that he sees “no reason to move fifty years of combined experience to China; let them do what they do best in Britain”.

At the time of writing, there are 182 job vacancies advertised at Lotus’ UK headquarters.

Details of which models will be built in China are scarce, with the company set to confirm details “on additional locations and models” in due course.

Geely took control of Lotus with the purchase of a 51% majority stake in May 2017, following earlier acquisitions of Volvo and British taxi manufacturer LEVC.

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voyager12 5 February 2019

Lotus has some catching up to do!

Porsche and Lotus were in similar dire straits in the early 90's. The Germans hired a couple of 'kaizen' Japanese to streamline production, Lotus... well... It went from owner to owner, like a wall flower waiting for the right partner.

wmb 18 January 2019

Interesting...

...I would have thought that they would have twinned this SUV's production with the XC90. With the next generation of this vehicle serving as bones from which the Lotus SUV is built from, wouldn't building them together make more since, at least initially?

vava1 17 January 2019

Sadly

These comments are made as a result of pure ignorance. Most of the world's best car producers have a manufacturing centre or centres in China. China also has home producers making some very good products with their quality and technology levels improving all the time. There are many high-quality products made in China from many different sectors as well as the car industry, perceptions of 'Made in China' are changing all the time.

Some people just like to remain bigoted and love to live in the distant past.

lambo58 18 January 2019

Correct, 

Correct, 

I was an ignorant Brit who thought we had a better pot to piss in until my boss sent me and some colleagues to do some work in China 

My mind was changed almost overnight: lovely generous people, hard working, well educated, funny, forward thinking and polite to a fault unlike the scum we now seem to breed back here.

The morons who think China is some kind of backwater would be shocked if they visited them to see their massive progress. It's now us who are on the back foot and if our attitudes continue we are screwed.

The vote by so many for Brexit just shows the ignorance of our so called little englander.

Sad

lambo58 18 January 2019

Correct, 

Correct, 

I was an ignorant Brit who thought we had a better pot to piss in until my boss sent me and some colleagues to do some work in China 

My mind was changed almost overnight: lovely generous people, hard working, well educated, funny, forward thinking and polite to a fault unlike the scum we now seem to breed back here.

The morons who think China is some kind of backwater would be shocked if they visited them to see their massive progress. It's now us who are on the back foot and if our attitudes continue we are screwed.

The vote by so many for Brexit just shows the ignorance of our so called little englander.

Sad

lambo58 18 January 2019

Correct, 

Correct, 

I was an ignorant Brit who thought we had a better pot to piss in until my boss sent me and some colleagues to do some work in China 

My mind was changed almost overnight: lovely generous people, hard working, well educated, funny, forward thinking and polite to a fault unlike the scum we now seem to breed back here.

The morons who think China is some kind of backwater would be shocked if they visited them to see their massive progress. It's now us who are on the back foot and if our attitudes continue we are screwed.

The vote by so many for Brexit just shows the ignorance of our so called little englander.

Sad

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