British sportscar maker Lotus plans China sales expansion to take on Porsche – Reuters

A Lotus sign is seen at the vehicle plant headquarters in Hethel, Britain June 23, 2021. Image taken June 23, 2021. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez/File Photo

BEIJING, Sept 7 (Reuters) – British sportscar maker Lotus plans to open up to 70 display rooms in China by 2024 and begin production at its new Wuhan factory next year to increase competition with rival Porsche, Chief Executive Feng Qingfeng told Reuters on Tuesday.
Premium and luxury automobile sales are growing in China as coronavirus pandemic travel limitations leave customers in the worlds greatest automobile market with more money to spend. learn more
Feng stated Lotus, which is owned by Chinese company Geely (GEELY.UL) and Malaysias Etika Automotive, will start production at its Wuhan factory next year, producing around 2,000 compact SUVs.
The plant, which is still under building and construction, would increase to complete production of 20,000 cars and trucks in 2023, Feng told Reuters in a phone call from Hangzhou, where Geely is headquartered.
The automobiles will be positioned in a similar section to rival Porsche (PSHG_p. DE) and higher than BMW (BMWG.DE) and Audi, Feng stated. Porsche has stated it offered 88,968 vehicles in China in 2015 thanks to demand for its Macan compact sports-utility lorry.
Feng stated Lotus will open more than 20 display rooms next year, very first targeting significant cities like Beijing and Shanghai. It will broaden the network even more over 2023 and 2024 to consist of cities like eastern Suzhou and Ningbo for an overall of 50-70 display rooms around the country.
Lotus, the maker of the Lotus Esprit, notoriously driven by James Bond in 1977s “The Spy Who Loved Me”, has four showrooms in China, according to its site.
Lotus said its Wuhan-based technology system just recently got an undisclosed investment from Nio Capital, an investment company founded by the president of leading Chinese electrical car maker Nio Inc (NIO.N). The innovation system is valued at 15 billion yuan ($ 2.32 billion).
Lotus Technology is studying a possible going public, potentially in New York, Hong Kong or London, as quickly as 2023 when it would begin mass-production in its Wuhan factory, Feng stated.
($ 1 = 6.4558 Chinese yuan renminbi).
Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh; editing by Jane Wardell.
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

A Lotus indication is seen at the car plant headquarters in Hethel, Britain June 23, 2021. The cars and trucks will be positioned in a similar section to rival Porsche (PSHG_p. Porsche has said it offered 88,968 vehicles in China last year thanks to require for its Macan compact sports-utility lorry.

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