Lotus vehicle production hits record before Nasdaq float
- Lotus produced 2,200 vehicles in the first six months of 2023
- Customer deliveries of Lotus electric SUV began in China at the end of March
Britain’s Lotus Cars produced a record number of new sports cars in the first half of the year as the automaker prepares for an initial public offering in New York.
Led by its Chinese owners, Geely, the group is also ramping up production and sales of a new electric SUV this year.
Lotus produced 2,200 vehicles at its Norfolk factory, which is housed in a former World War II bomber factory, in the first six months of 2023.
Order boom: Lotus’ order book grew to 17,000 vehicles worldwide in the first half, with the Eletre S, pictured, proving popular
Its order book grew to 17,000 vehicles worldwide for the Eletre, Lotus’ first electric “lifestyle hyper-SUV,” and Emira, a mid-engine sports car.
The bulk of the vehicles built during the period were Emira sports cars.
Lotus produced more than 2,200 Emiras at its UK sports car manufacturing facility, an increase of 381 per cent on last year.
The Emira was the first new car launched by Lotus since Chinese-owned Geely took a 51 percent stake in the business in 2017.
Customer deliveries of Lotus’ electric SUV began in China at the end of March, and the automaker expects to deliver to UK and European customers later this summer.
Strike a Pose: Roger Moore poses with co-star Barbara Bach and a Lotus Esprit for the 1977 James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me
Classic: the 1980 Lotus Turbo Esprit from the James Bond movie, For Your Eyes Only
Feng Qingfeng, Head of Lotus Group, said: “We set an ambitious goal in 2018, launching our Vision80 strategy to transform the business from a traditional automotive brand to become a fully electric luxury mobility provider within ten years.
“We have spent the last few years laying the foundation for success and today’s announcement shows that Lotus is no longer the same business it was in years past.
We are firmly on track to become a global performance brand by 2028.
In an updated statement, Lotus added: “Lotus plans to further increase production and sales for the second half of the year and expects the full year to outperform all previous years.”
Lotus, which marked its 75th anniversary this year, expanded its global retail network to 193 stores in the first half, opening 24 new outlets.
The group has also expanded into South Korea, one of the world’s largest luxury car markets, where Lotus has a partnership to sell Lotus engines with regional auto retailer, Kolon Mobility Group.
Geely has invested around £3 billion in Lotus ahead of the planned listing of its electric car business on the New York Nasdaq stock exchange.
Rather than opt for an initial public offering, it will float through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company backed by LVMH, the luxury goods group controlled by billionaire Bernard Arnault.