Lotus is best known for its track-focused vehicles as of recent, but one day, the brand’s new Chinese owner wants it to rival Ferrari and Porsche. So said the chief of Geely, An Cong Hui, whose company in May took a majority stake in Lotus, along with a major stake in Lotus parent company Proton.
Autocar reported on Thursday that Geely has full plans to revive Lotus as a global sport-luxury brand. Hui told the British publication that part of the reason Geely made the acquisition of Proton was to secure right-hand-drive production capability, but there was also the intention to grab Lotus and turn it around.
“Lotus used to be ranked alongside Ferrari and Porsche, so we need to come back in that rank again,” he said. Helping Lotus achieve Ferrari-like status won’t be an easy task, but Geely’s been mighty successful with another previously struggling brand: Volvo.
Speaking of Volvo, its Compact Modular Architecture could serve as the foundation for a radical new Lotus model: an SUV. The platform, which underpins the XC40 and Lynk & Co. 01, is engineered to accommodate high-performance applications, Autocar noted. Thus, it would make perfect sense for a Lotus SUV, which patent images may have outed this past October. Lotus and Geely will likely build the performance SUV in China, while Lotus sports car production sits tight in the United Kingdom.
But, ahead of a Lotus SUV, Geely’s cash will help Lotus overhaul its sports car lineup, which has remained fairly stagnant for years. Meanwhile, Lotus heads towards full profitability in the 2018 fiscal year.