If that's just the tech side, what's the entire group worth?
A year ago, Group Lotus announced the creation of Lotus Technology, which is an entirely new division dedicated to the fields of batteries and energy management, electric motors, electronic control systems, intelligent driving, and intelligent manufacturing.
The original consensus was that Group Lotus would take Lotus Technology public, and initial estimates put its value at $7 to $8 billion. It later emerged that Group Lotus would not take this division public, and as a result, the estimated value dropped to between $5 to $6 billion.
This week Lotus Technology announced via Reuters that it had completed its fundraising mission, resulting in a $4.5 billion valuation.
The original aim was to raise $400 to $500 million from investors to get to the original estimated value. Lotus Technology did not reveal who invested and what they invested, but it obviously failed to meet that target. We don't think it's cause for concern, as the influx should be enough to help fund the first stage of Lotus' new facility in Wuhan, China.
Lotus Technology's all-new factory will be completed in 2024, but the first phase is nearing completion. Lotus' factory in Hethel (England) will be responsible for building the Emira and Evija, while China will built the Eletre EV SUV.
Many scoff at the idea of a Lotus EV SUV as it goes against everything Colin Chapman wanted for his cars. Still, naysayers might want to take a closer look at the Eletre, which Lotus says will weigh less than 2,000 kilograms (4,400 pounds). To put that in perspective, the all-new Mercedes-AMG C63 with its turbocharged four-pot hybrid setup weighs more.
One of the leading technologies Lotus Technology is working on is intelligent drive. It wants to develop something called "track level intelligence" within ten years.
"The new technology's aim is to assist drivers to perform as well as an F1 driver on track, while increasing driver safety and improving performance on the road through advanced software and hardware. The result is a more rewarding and reassuring experience in any environment," said Lotus Technology.
Group Lotus will continue to do what it had always done, even before Geely and Etika Automotive jointly purchased it.
Lotus has been doing suspension development for years, not just for its own cars. Lesser-known brands like Proton are happy to boast about having a Lotus-tuned suspension, while manufacturers like Aston Martin have good reason to keep it on the down low. It's not just sports cars either. Lotus had a hand in developing the suspension setup of the Hyundai Genesis.
Lotus' history with electrification dates back to 2011 when it provided the power pack for the Rolls-Royce 102EX, the spiritual predecessor of the upcoming all-electric Spectre.
It's unclear why Lotus Technology has not gone public yet, but we suspect it has something to do with the launch of the Eletre. Production is set to start at the end of this year, while deliveries will begin in 2023.
The most likely scenario is that Lotus Technology wants to show what it's capable of before going public, which might net it a healthier influx of cash than initially expected.