The Porsche Macan is about to get some stiff competition from Lotus.
There was a time when Lotus was on the brink of collapse, but these darker times are now thankfully a distant memory. After being rescued by China's Geely, Lotus has the financial backing and resources to launch as many as four new models over the next five years including the long-awaited Emira, the company's first all-new sports car in over a decade.
Speaking with Reuters, Chief Executive Feng Qingfeng revealed Lotus also has big plans to conquer the lucrative Chinese car market. By 2024, Lotus plans to open up to 70 showrooms in China and open its new Wuhan factory, where the company's first-ever SUV will be manufactured.
This will enable Lotus to compete with the likes of Porsche, BMW, and Audi, as luxury car sales are booming in China right now.
Currently under construction, the Wuhan factory will start production next year, initially producing around 2,000 compact SUVs. In 2023, production will ramp up to a full capacity of 20,000 cars. The compact Lotus SUV will compete with the new electric Porsche Macan launching in 2022 and will be positioned higher than BMW and Audi according to Feng.
Lotus hopes to steal sales from Porsche, which sold 88,968 cars in China thanks to a huge demand for the Macan SUV.
Next year, Lotus will open more than 20 new showrooms in major Chinese cities like Beijing and Shanghai, before expanding to cities like eastern Suzhou and Ningbo in 2023 and 2024. In total, Lotus plans to open between 50 and 70 dealers across China by 2024 to increase its global sales.
Details about the first Lotus SUV are scarce. Codenamed the Type 132, the first Lotus SUV will be fully electric and ride on the new Lotus Premium architecture, which can accommodate battery sizes between 92 kWh and 120 kWh and support 800-volt fast charging. After the Type 132 SUV debuts next year, a larger electric Lotus SUV known as Type 134 is due to arrive in 2025.