Flying auto company Terrafugia bought by China's Geely

Group Lotus owner snaps up flying car maker

Geely has announced it has taken over US-based Terrafugia Inc, which has made headlines for developing and displaying flying cars for many years but not yet selling any. The company has also developed "The Transition", pitched as the "first practical flying car".

Terrafugia strives to market the first flying auto in the world with the Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) in 2019.

The company's first product will be the Transition, which is promised for a market launch in 2019.

The company said Chris Jaran, a former executive at aircraft manufacturer Bell Helicopter China, would become Terrafugia's chief executive officer effective immediately.

"The team at Terrafugia have been at the forefront of believing in and realizing the vision for a flying vehicle and creating the ultimate mobility solution", said Li Shufu, Zhejiang Geely founder and chairman.

Meanwhile, founder of Terrafugia, Carl Dietrich, 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".

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Geely, which owns a stake in national carmaker Proton, said it had received the necessary approval for the deal, including from the United States government's Committee on Foreign Investment, to take over all of Terrafugia's operations and assets. He said in a statement that the investment "reflects our shared belief in their vision and we are committed to extending our full support to Terrafugia, leveraging the synergies provided by our global operations and track record of innovation, to make the flying vehicle a reality".

Francis Kwok Sze-chi, managing director at Freeman Securities in Hong Kong, told NQN: "Demand for "flying cars" is promising in China where traffic congestions are chronic headaches".

In anticipation of this transaction, the Company's team of engineers has tripled over the past three months with Geely Holding's approval and with Geely being fully committed to investing further in the company and creating additional jobs after completion of the acquisition.

Terrafugia more recently showed its next model, the TF-X, which boasts more car-like styling and twin electric motors for a total output of one megawatt (1,341 hp).

Geely is the parent company of Swedish luxury brand Volvo Cars, along with the London Taxi Company.

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