Sports Cars

Geely could spend $2B reinventing Lotus

It worked for Volvo, so it should work again.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Volvo has absolutely thrived since it was taken under the wing of Chinese automaker Geely. Geely also owns Lotus, and it appears Geely is trying to make lightning strike twice.

Geely is considering investing at least £1.5 billion (almost $2 billion) to give Lotus a new lease on life, Bloomberg reports, citing sources familiar with the matter.

The Evora gets its power from a modified Toyota 3.5-liter V6. Yes, the same one (or close enough thereto) that you'd find in a Camry.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

The money will be put into expanding current efforts in both production and R&D. More specifically, Bloomberg's sources claim that Geely wants to open a second factory in the UK, followed by a new design and tech center, also in the UK.

Geely didn't immediately return a request for comment, but it told Bloomberg it was "committed to restoring Lotus into being a leading global luxury brand." It's believed that Geely's aspirations for Lotus involve putting it up against names like Porsche or Ferrari, which is quite the tall order given the current state of Lotus' lineup.

Right now, Lotus produces three cars, all of which are meant to be proper performance vehicles with little compromise. However, they're all staggeringly old -- the third-generation Elise and Exige entered production in 2011, while the Evora entered production in 2009. Since then, the vehicles have received little in the way of attention, save for arbitrary special editions that each add a few horsepower and remove a few pounds of curb weight.

Clearly, Geely has some work ahead of it. The company spent more than $10 billion reinventing Volvo, and it paid off in spades, as the Swedish automaker now makes some very, very good vehicles. Lotus might need more than 20 percent of what Volvo got if it wants the same kind of narrative, but $2 billion is a pretty good start.