Lotus and China’s Goldstar Heavy Industrial Company are forming a joint venture that will bring the historic British sports-car maker into the country.
“The collaboration seeks to accelerate the development of Lotus cars in the premium sports segment in China,” according to the announcement. The JV will include research projects on efficient and advanced technology, and ultimately lead to sales of cars there, Lotus said.
China’s auto market is no longer experiencing the double-digit growth of the past, but it still continues to expand. Meanwhile, Lotus saw sales jump 55 percent in the last fiscal year and it opened 36 new dealers, according to CEO Jean-Marc Gales.
The joint venture announcement also hints at the possibility of Chinese-made models, but it shouldn’t dilute the brand. Lotus is clear that core vehicles like the Evora, Exige and Elise would remain exclusively in production at the headquarters in Hethel, England.
Just a couple years ago, Lotus appeared to be on its deathbed after losing a quarter of its workforce, but since that setback the company has started to crawl back.