Carmaker Lotus is exploring options to drive international growth and has launched an international investor tour that could lead to a multibillion-pound IPO as early as next year.
The Lotus group, majority owned by the Chinese Geely (GELYF), said that of this target of 100,000 sales per year, 90,000 will be electric sedans and SUVs produced by Lotus Technology.
The Norfolk-based sports car manufacturer currently produces 1,500 sports cars a year.
Specialized trade publication Coach said the company plans to launch its Lotus Technology division in a move valued at between £5 billion ($6.8 billion) and £6 billion.
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A spokesperson said the company favored an IPO over the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) listing method recently employed by Geely stablemate Polestar, despite the additional scrutiny involved in moving further. traditional to the market.
Lotus aims to float in the next 12 to 24 months, but a decision on whether to float in Asia, London or New York has yet to be made, the company said.
The sports car maker plans to open a manufacturing plant in Wuhan next year that will start building the first Lotus 4×4, an all-electric sports utility vehicle, followed by a zero-emission executive car. The Wuhan-built Lotus SUV will cost around £100,000.
Although aimed at the Chinese electric car market, it will be made available to the UK and US markets.
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group acquired a majority stake in Lotus from Malaysian conglomerate DRB-Hicom in 2017.
He pledged £1.5 billion to overhaul the company, turn it into an all-electric carmaker and expand the brand into premium “lifestyle vehicles” that would rival BMW (BMW.DE), Mercedes-Benz (MBG.DE) and Audi.
Geely’s investment included a major upgrade of the Lotus factory in Hethel, Norfolk, the addition of a design center in Coventry and a new technical center in Frankfurt, Germany.
Lotus CEO Matt Windle described the extent of the transformation as something “never undertaken in the automotive industry before”.
Lotus said half of its total sales could come from China in five years.