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Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Lotus To Carry "Made In China" Tag Soon With New Production Plant In Wuhan


Flushed with money from its new parent company, Geely, Lotus will soon be moving production of a majority of its upcoming models to Wuhan, China.

The new RMB 8 billion (around USD 1.24 million) will cover an area over 1 million square meters and will have the capacity to produce around 150,000 vehicles a year. This new factory will produce the brand’s upcoming “premium lifestyle” vehicles, while the current facility in Hethel in the United Kingdom will be focused on low-volume models.

Hand-in-hand with this announcement, Lotus has outlined its ambitious new vehicle line-up planned in the next five years. In 2022, Lotus will debut an E-segment SUV codenamed Type 132. It will be followed in 2023 by an E-segment four-door coupe, Type 133, and in 2025 by Type 134, a new D-segment SUV. This trio will be joined in 2026 by an all-new electric sports car, Type 135.

These premium lifestyle vehicles will be underpinned by the Lotus Premium architecture, one of the four new vehicle platforms announced previously. The Premium architecture supports a wheelbase range from 2,889 mm to 3,100 mm, and could be further expanded in the future. It supports the development of all types of passenger vehicles from C+ to E segments. Using 92 to 120-kWh batteries, it is compatible with the industry’s most advanced 800-volt high-speed EV charging system. Products developed on this platform will be capable of 0-100km/h acceleration in under three seconds.

The new Lotus plant is the first in the world with an integrated intelligent test track. It features an advanced system whereby vehicles can be transported into workshops using autonomous driving technology without any human intervention. It is designed to accommodate vehicles driving at speeds up to 230 km/h through 16 corners.

Aside from the new plant, Lotus Technology, a subsidiary focused on the research and development of EV batteries and energy management, electric motors, electronic control systems, intelligent driving, intelligent manufacturing, and more will be headquartered in China as well.

Lotus though will continue to manage global sales and marketing for the brand in the UK.

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