Geely Holding, the Chinese car industry giant that’s rejuvenated Volvo and recently taken control Lotus Cars, has announced its latest acquisition – the Terrafugia Inc flying car company.
And Geely’s aim? To, no less, “make the flying car a reality”.
Given how it’s transformed Volvo into a genuine premium sector contender, and is now working on making Lotus a true British alternative to Ferrari and Porsche, the announcement could become landmark news in the history of the flying car.
U.S. firm Terrafugia was founded in 2006 by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) graduates. Its stated aim is to launch the world’s first flying car by 2019, and follow it up with the world’s first vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) ‘jump-jet car’ by 2023.
It will remain based in the U.S. despite the full Geely takeover, albeit with its board bolstered by senior Geely executives. The firm adds that its American engineering team has already tripled in size ahead of the takeover being announced.
Li Shufu is Geely founder and chairman, and said: “The team at Terrafugia have been at the forefront of believing in, and realising, the vision for a flying car and creating the ultimate mobility solution.
“This is a tremendously exciting sector and we believe that Terrafugia is ideally positioned to change mobility as we currently understand it. Our investment in the company reflects our shared believe in their vision.
“We are committed to extending our fully support to Terrafugia… to make the flying car a reality.”
Terrafugia founder and CTO Carl Dietrick said: “We started Terrafugia with a vision to change the future of transportation with practical flying cars that enable a new dimension of personal freedom.
“Now, as part of Geely Holding Group, I am confident that we can reach that vision and subsequent commercial success by utilising the Group’s shared global synergy.”