Remember the APX? Far from being the most beautiful vehicle to come out of the gates of Norfolk, the concept was Lotus’ first stab at making a CUV. While the “Aluminum Performance Crossover” unveiled 11 years ago never made it to the assembly line, the British marque will likely have a high-riding vehicle of its own in the foreseeable future. The company’s struggling days should be over now that Geely is calling the shots after purchasing a majority stake from parent company DRB-Hicom in a $65-million deal, which will be finalized before the end of the month.
Thanks to a “brand image that hasn’t faded,” Lotus can be transformed into a moneymaker, according to Geely board member, Carl-Peter Forster. The statement was made this month at the Frankfurt Motor Show during which the Geely official also pointed out the sports car marque has great potential to expand beyond the 1,500 – 2,000 cars it’s currently selling every year.
Boosting Lotus to significantly greater production numbers could be done by selling “any size of car” while remaining true to Lotus’ ethos: lightweight and fun-to-drive vehicles. The senior executive believes going down this road wouldn’t dilute the brand, arguing Porsche’s decision to launch the Cayenne in 2002 turned out to be a wise decision as it contributed to a tremendous growth for the Stuttgart-based marque.
Forster, who is also the chairman of Geely-owned London EV Company taxi maker, mentioned the recently launched LEVC TX sits on a lightweight aluminum platform similar to what Lotus’ cars are using. Geely could achieve savings in operating costs by making the two automakers work closely together.
Let’s keep in mind Volvo also sits underneath Geely’s umbrella and that could translate into some sporty Volvos benefiting from Lotus’ expertise in terms of suspension tweaking. Polestar cars might be the first to benefit from the tie-up.
Source: Automotive News