Group Lotus owner snaps up flying vehicle maker

Zhejiang

Group Lotus owner snaps up flying vehicle maker

Terrafugia Inc., founded by five Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduates, also plans to deliver the first vertical take-off and landing vehicle by 2023.

The Zhejiang Geely Holding Group has completed the purchase of flying vehicle developer Terrafugia for an undisclosed price, and the Woburn, Massachusetts-based company will remain in the United States, according to Automotive News.

Under the acquisition terms, Terrafugia is expected to be domiciled and headquartered in the USA and will continue to focus on developing flying cars.

Terrafugia was founded in 2005 by five award-winning graduate engineers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (Cfius) has already approved the deal.

Geely Holding brings in seven new directors, including Terrafugia's new chairman Nathan Yu Ning (Geely's Vice-President of International Business) and three other Geely Holding executives, including its vice-chairman Yang Jian.

The price tag of the acquisition has not been disclosed, but Geely will acquire all outstanding shares and appoint three board members including Nathan Yu Ning, its vice president of worldwide business.

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Terrafugia has been flying its experimental "The Transition" flying auto since 2012, check it out in action... After buying Volvo Cars and investing in Lotus Cars, Geely Holding eyes a nascent market that could grow exponentially in the following years as autonomous technologies mature.

"This is an extremely exciting sector and we believe Terrafugia is ideally positioned to change the mobility as we now understand it and (we) herald the development of a new industry in doing so".

Meanwhile, US tech news portal The Verge said Terrafugia would benefit from Geely's financial strength, adding that the Chinese firm had also helped transform Volvo Cars.

Apart from the 2019 model, the company is also working on one that can take off and land vertically that it hopes it will be able to launch by 2023.

"Although it will take some years for makers of flying cars to achieve commercial success, it makes good sense for Geely to first go in and acquire the know-how as part of its long-term agenda", said Yale Zhang, managing director of consultancy Automotive Foresight.

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