Hangzhou, China – based Geely Automotive may seem to be just another well-performing car manufacturer. In reality, their stake and exposure to the flying car market is much stronger and more developed than many automakers.
Having posted growth in 2017 of 108%, Geely is expanding extremely rapidly, and a number of acquisitions have accompanied this expansion. First, it was the so-called “Daimler deal” that made Chairman of Geely Li Shufu the single largest shareholder of Mercedes-Benz. His share is estimated at $9 billion. The deal was large enough to cause internal investigations and gain the German Government’s curiosity. Li already owns Volvo and part of AB Volo, their commercial vehicles company.
But Geely also sought to expand toward the flying car market. In mid-November 2017, Geely purchased American flying car upstart Terrafugia, and promptly promised a flying car by 2019. Terrafugia is currently marketing their Transition, which is an entry-level flying car, but plans to leverage their experience and develop a new model, dubbed the TF-X, within the next coming years. The Terrafugia is planned to enter market in 2019, and the TF-X in 2023.
Why it’s important: While the story of Geely’s growth and subsequent acquisitions of new companies is nothing new, what’s notable is their inclusion of a flying car company (Terrafugia) in the acquisition list. This transaction underscores the importance that many automakers are placing on becoming magnates in the flying car market, and demonstrates that real commitments are being made to gain a piece of the industry.
- Image Credit: Terrafugia