Group Lotus takeover by Chinese car giant Geely completed

Lotus chief executive Jean-Marc Gales. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Lotus chief executive Jean-Marc Gales. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

A Chinese automotive company's takeover of Norfolk sports car maker Group Lotus has been completed.

Lotus cars assembly line at the Hethel plant. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Lotus cars assembly line at the Hethel plant. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

Hethel-based manufacturer Lotus announced the completion of the transaction in a statement on its website on Friday.

Geely Holding, which also owns Swedish car maker Volvo, now owns 51% of Lotus, with the other 49% being held by Malaysian automotive group Etika.

With the deal – rumoured to have been worth £51m – complete, Lotus' five-strong board of directors has been formally established.

Geely Holding has appointed its executive vice president and chief financial officer, Daniel Donghui Li, as chairman.

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Geely Auto vice president and chief technology officer Feng Qing Feng and Nathan Yu Ning, vice president of international business at Geely Holding, will also join the board.

Etika has appointed Dato' Sharil Tarmizi, a corporate consultant and a long-term supporter of technology companies, to the Lotus board and will announce a further addition to the board in due course.

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Jean-Marc Gales will continue in his role as chief executive of Lotus, which he has held since January 2014.

Mr Gales said: 'Following a successful business turnaround, the Lotus brand has never been in a stronger position and we are now perfectly positioned for growth.

'We are producing the best cars in the company's history and are currently developing next generation of sports luxury vehicles which will continue to demonstrate the Lotus brand values of class-leading vehicle dynamics, light weighting, styling and aerodynamics by leveraging Geely Holding's global strengths and resources.'

In the statement Lotus also announced a 10% increase in sales in the first half of 2017 compared with the same period in 2016, putting its cash flow back into the black.

With the introduction of new models including the Evora GT430, Lotus' fastest ever car, Geely said it is confident Lotus will 'continue to excel'.

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