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Geely May Dump $2B into Reviving Lotus

The three performance cars Lotus makes are kind of… old.

The car brand Lotus has an interesting history going back all the way to 1948 when an engineer named Colin Chapman first modified a 1928 Austin Seven to use on the local racing circuit.

The racing legacy remained a part of Lotus as the brand grew over the years, and its reputation for taking on the likes of the Ferrari gave it some clout in the performance realm. But despite a cult following, it doesn’t exactly feel like it’s going places.

That’s because the three performance cars Lotus makes are kind of… old. The newest – 3rd generation models of the Elise and Exige – entered production in 2011 and have seen nothing more than a few minor facelifts since.

But lucky for Lotus, its parent company – Chinese automaker and owner of Volvo, Geely – isn’t going to let Lotus die on the vine, and Bloomberg says they’ve got $2 billion to back it up. Citing sources familiar with the car company and its plans, Bloomberg says the money is earmarked for expansion of Lotus’s production and R&D, and that Geely wants to open another factory in the UK – plus a design and technology center – to help support it.

$2 billion is small potatoes if you compare it to the $10 billion cash dump Geely made in order to reinvent Volvo. CNET says that strategy paid off in spades, though this time the company has a lot of ground to make up to get back into the ranks of Porsche and Ferrari – especially after taking the last few years off. Luxury performance vehicle companies are on the cutting edge of R&D, so it’s more than just a matter of dusting the cobwebs off the Lotus line in order to make it in this highly competitive segment.

For its part, Geely told Bloomberg it’s "committed to restoring Lotus into being a leading global luxury brand."

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