Although we know Geely China primarily as the Chinese owner of Volvo, the company is now expanding at an astonishing rate. They recently acquired a majority stake in Lotus, got into the owners of the Malaysian Proton car factory, and the latest news is about to acquire a company called Terrafugia, which develops aircraft that can also be used as cars.
Geely has reportedly been looking for an opportunity to acquire the U.S. company since last year, but has only just been able to agree on the details. For the time being, it is not really clear why it would be worthwhile for the Chinese carmaker to acquire such a company, which does not promise much profit at all, but Terrafugia’s developments could accelerate drastically.
Currently, the US company offers one type of product, more precisely, they only take bookings worth $ 10,000. The $ 279,000, folding-wing, two-seater called the Transition can be tested as both a light sports aircraft and a car, so it can carry its passengers door-to-door, though not ideal for either a car or an airplane. In addition, you can only take off and land from an airport with it in the same way as with regular sport aircraft. However, production has not yet started, so far only prototypes are being tested by the company. In addition, a stationary model, the TF-X, is said to be under development, about which there is even less definite information, although it has been four years since it was first shown.
The Chinese carmaker’s money may be enough to at least start production of the Transition, and perhaps the TF-X could get past the study phase. At the same time, we feel that buying Terrafugia is a fairly long-term investment, as a flying car is typically something that not only has no supply, but is also uncertain whether it will have customers. And the rise of such a virtually non-existent market could take decades.