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British sportscar maker Lotus plans China sales expansion to take on Porsche

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A Lotus signal is seen on the automotive plant headquarters in Hethel, Britain June 23, 2021. Image taken June 23, 2021. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez/File Picture

BEIJING, Sept 7 (Reuters) – British sportscar maker Lotus plans to speak in confidence to 70 showrooms in China by 2024 and begin manufacturing at its new Wuhan manufacturing facility subsequent 12 months to ramp up competitors with rival Porsche, Chief Govt Feng Qingfeng instructed Reuters on Tuesday.

Premium and luxurious automotive gross sales are rising in China as coronavirus pandemic journey restrictions depart customers on the planet’s greatest automotive market with extra money to spend.

Feng mentioned Lotus, which is owned by Chinese language agency Geely (GEELY.UL) and Malaysia’s Etika Automotive, would start manufacturing at its Wuhan manufacturing facility subsequent 12 months, producing round 2,000 compact SUVs.

The plant, which continues to be below building, would ramp as much as full manufacturing of 20,000 automobiles in 2023, Feng instructed Reuters in a phone name from Hangzhou, the place Geely is headquartered.

The automobiles will probably be positioned in an analogous section to rival Porsche and better than BMW and Audi, Feng mentioned. Porsche has mentioned it offered 88,968 automobiles in China final 12 months because of demand for its Macan compact sports-utility automobile.

Feng mentioned Lotus would open greater than 20 showrooms subsequent 12 months, first focusing on main cities like Beijing and Shanghai. It could increasing the community additional over 2023 and 2024 to incorporate cities like jap Suzhou and Ningbo for a complete of 50-70 showrooms across the nation.

Lotus, the maker of the Lotus Esprit, famously pushed by James Bond in 1977’s “The Spy Who Beloved Me”, at present has 4 showrooms in China, in accordance with its web site.

Lotus mentioned its Wuhan-based know-how unit lately obtained an undisclosed funding from Nio Capital, an funding agency based by the chief government of main Chinese language electrical automobile maker Nio Inc . The know-how unit is valued at 15 billion yuan ($2.32 billion).

($1 = 6.4558 Chinese language yuan renminbi)

Reporting by Yilei Solar and Brenda Goh; enhancing by Jane Wardell

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