The China-based wing of the company will build the brand's electric SUVs and sedans.
Better known for producing lightweight and dramatic-looking sports cars such as the Emira, Lotus will need to transition to electric vehicles if it has any chance of surviving in the future. In fact, it's one of several boutique carmakers looking to make the switch, with BAC even studying the benefits of hydrogen for future models. The Norfolk-based brand has teased an electric sports car very recently, collaborating with Britishvolt to make this a reality.
But as Ferrari, Lamborghini, and several other sports car brands have discovered, SUVs are a key ingredient in the recipe for success. To that end, the brand has previewed the Type 132, an all-electric SUV that should appeal to a wider audience. A report from Autocar suggests Lotus is looking to list its Technology division on the stock market, which would value it at around $6.8-$8.1 billion.
The brand is currently partaking in a global roadshow, which started in China and is currently in London, to give potential investors a glimpse of the aforementioned Type 132. A spokesman for the brand has said the main aim of the roadshow is to gauge how interested individuals would be to invest in Lotus stock. He also noted the brand is currently looking to list via an initial public offering instead of a SPAC (special purpose acquisition company).
Lotus has said the reason behind listing Lotus Technology and not Lotus Cars has to do with the unique ownership structures of the two divisions. The sports carmaker is 49% owned by Etika Automotive, with the same company also owning a smaller 30% stake in Lotus Technology.
The latter will reportedly build the brand's more mainstream cars, such as sedans and SUVs. Lofty sales goals have been set, the brand telling investors it plans to sell 100,000 vehicles per year by 2028. Of those 100,000 vehicles, 90% will be battery-powered SUVs and sedans.
Since automotive giant Geely purchased a majority stake in the company, there have been many promises of turning Lotus into a true Porsche rival. The Chinese carmaker has shown signs of growth, with a $1.2 billion factory based in Wuhan with the capacity to build 150,000 vehicles a year - far more than Lotus could ever achieve by themselves.
While we're by no means financial experts, investing in Lotus could be a risky decision. Yes, the brand has shown great promise in the past few years, but its track record also speaks volumes. Since founder Colin Chapman died, Lotus has changed ownership plenty of times, even spending a number of years under the General Motors umbrella.
For the sake of the company and investors, we hope the British sports car brand can deliver on its promises, pivot to profitability, and continue to create incredible driving machines. It would be a shame for Lotus to be relegated to the history books.