Geely finalises purchase of flying vehicle maker Terrafugia

Volvo's parent company just bought a 'flying car' startup

Group Lotus owner snaps up flying car maker

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

The parent company of Volvo, Geely Holding Group Co., was rumoured to be looking at the 11-year old flying vehicle start-up back in July, today though comes confirmation that the Chinese group had made the purchase. Terrafugia will remain headquartered in the United States and continue to focus on its existing mission of developing flying cars.

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

Terrafugia was founded in 2005 by five award-winning graduate engineers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Chris Jaran, Terrafugia's newly appointed CEO, said the expansion of the company's R&D capabilities would be prioritized, according to Xinhuanet. Geely's vice president for worldwide business Nathan Yu Ning will become chairman of Terrafugia, and three other Geely executives will join the company's board.

Geely, which owns a stake in national carmaker Proton, said it had received the necessary approval for the deal, including from the USA government's Committee on Foreign Investment, to take over all of Terrafugia's operations and assets.

"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", he added. And numerous companies, Terrafugia included, that are working on the technology have been known to over-promise and underperform.

"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", Geely's founder and chairman Li Shufu said in a statement. Shares in Geely Automobile Holdings, the Chinese company's core Hong Kong-listed subsidiary, soared to an all-time high of 28.4 Hong Kong dollars, immediately following the announcement on Tuesday.

However, the company did not disclose any financial details concerning the deal, The China Daily newspaper reported today.

That's because flying cars, while hitting that retro-futuristic sweet spot, are widely considered to be hugely hard, if not outright unworkable, from a mobility perspective.

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