Carmaker Lotus is going public. It is learned to be possibly floating an IPO as early as next year to drive more international growth. The company is now paving an international roadshow for investors.
Lately, the Financial Times and The Times reported it is working on opening a production plant in China to reach the target of 100,000 annual sales by the end of the current decade. The Lotus Group is mainly owned by China's Geely.
The Norfolk-based sportscars manufacturer said 90,000 will be electric SUVs and saloons in the 100,000 sales target. It currently produces 1,500 sportscars a year.
Autocar magazine said the carmaker is planning to float its Lotus Technology division by favoring an IPO over the special purpose acquisition company method. The same method was earlier employed by Geely stablemate Polestar.
It is believed the company may float the IPO in the period of the next 12 to 24 months and it is yet to be decided whether to list it in London, New York or Asia.
Lotus is planning to open a production plant in China's Wuhan city in 2023 and the manufacturing of the first all-electric Lotus 4x4 SUV would start here. The next in the production pipeline is a zero-emission executive car. The retail price of a Wuhan-built SUV would be 100,000 pounds.
Even though the vehicle is planned to be marketed in China, it may be simultaneously made available in the US and UK markets too.
In 2017, the Zhejiang Geely Holding Group acquired a controlling stake in the company from DRB-Hicom with a promise of 1.5 billion pounds to overhaul Lotus, stretch it into upmarket and turn it into an all-electric carmaker to rival Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW.
The investment includes a major factory upgrade in Hethel, Norfolk, along with a design center in Coventry as well as a new tech hub in Frankfurt city in Germany.
According to Lotus CEO Matt Windle, such transformation extent has never been undertaken earlier in the automotive industry and about 50 percent of the sales are expected to come from China in the next couple of years.
Lotus Cars Limited was founded in 1948 by Colin Chapman. It manufactures racing and sports cars and is headquartered in Norfolk, England.
Following the death of Chapman in 1982, the British automotive company faced a period of financial instability and was acquired by General Motors initially, the Romano Artioli thereafter, and lastly by DRB-HICOM through subsidiary Proton. Chinese multinational Geely currently owns Lotus Cars with equity partner Etika Automotive.