On July 15, Geely’s luxury sports car brand Lotus completed the construction of its Wuhan Smart Factory. Its first pure electric smart vehicle, the Hyper SUV Eletre, also successfully rolled off of the production line.
Lotus is a world-renowned sports and race car manufacturer. Geely acquired a stake in the company in 2017 and now owns 51% of Lotus, while Malaysia’s Etika Automotive owns the rest.
The Lotus Smart Factory is located in the Wuhan Economic & Technological Development Zone and covers an area of 1,526 mu (102 hectares) with a total investment of over 8 billion yuan ($1.19 billion). It is the first factory in the world to adopt 3D digital twin technology for the entire workflow process from planning and design to vehicle manufacturing.
In addition, the Lotus Smart Factory has created a 3-kilometer-long multifunctional composite experience track with 16 turns to help with off-line vehicle inspections, intelligent driving, customer experience and other situations.
The pure electric smart Hyper SUV Eletre, which rolled off the assembly line on July 15, is the first global lifestyle vehicle and the first SUV model from Lotus. In the future, three models of pure electric smart cars, including Eletre, will be produced and manufactured in the factory in Wuhan and sold worldwide.
Zhao Haishan, Vice Governor of Hubei Province, said in a recent speech that the completion of the Lotus Smart Factory and the successful launch of the first new vehicle marked a breakthrough in the development and manufacturing of high-end new energy vehicles in Hubei. Regarding the construction of new energy and smart cars, Hubei Province will bring into play the attraction of leading enterprises to build a more resilient, safe and reliable auto industry chain and supply chain with a focus on new energy vehicles.
In recent years, Geely has continued to strengthen its cooperation with Wuhan Economic & Technological Development Zone and has attained a series of positive results. The zone is now home to many vehicle-standard chip projects including Lotus, ECARX, and SiEngine Technology.
Xingji Technology, established by Geely’s Chairman Eric Li, is also settled in the zone. The company is committed to the research and development of high-end smartphones, XR technology products, smart wearables, and more.