This factory isn’t exclusive to Lotus according to Automotive News Europe, which quotes a yearly capacity of 150,000 vehicles. The Hubei provincial government disclosed that conventional and electrified vehicles will be manufactured in the Middle Kingdom.
Estimated to cost $1.3 billion, the plant would be the second production site for Lotus outside of the United Kingdom after the short stint in Shah Alam. “Aside from Lotus, it remains unknown what other vehicles the Wuhan factory will assemble from Geely.” The plant will go online in 2021, but so far, it isn’t known what Lotus plans to make there.
The Chinese juggernaut also owns Volvo Cars, Polestar, London Electric Vehicle Company, and half of smart. The next-generation fortwo and forfour will be manufactured in China, and there are plans to venture into the B-segment with an all-new nameplate.
Turning our attention back to Lotus, an Evora-based sports car is coming in 2020. Described as “an all-new sports car” despite the old underpinnings, the mysterious model would be the first Lotus developed under the control of Geely. The newcomer could feature 2+2 seating, mirroring the layout of the Evora.
In related news, the headquarters in Hethel are being overhauled and there’s the revival of the Esprit in the pipeline. The famed nameplate will return as a high-tier model according to reports in the British media, slotting above the Evora and competing against the likes of Ferrari.