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Volvo's parent firm Geely to buy US flying-car startup Terrafugia

ABR Staff Writer Published 15 November 2017

Zhejiang Geely, the Chinese automaker that owns Volvo, has agreed to acquire Terrafugia, a US-based startup company working on the development of a flying car.

Terrafugia was founded in 2006 by five Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) graduates. From its inception, the company claims to have made significant progress in bringing flying cars to market.

The US firm plans to introduce its first flying car to the market by 2019 and its first vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) flying car is expected to be available by 2023.

Under the acquisition terms, Terrafugia is expected to be domiciled and headquartered in the US and will continue to focus on developing flying cars.

Terrafugia will also benefit from Geely's expertise and track record of innovation within the worldwide auto industry.

The deal has received regulatory approval including the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CIFIUS).

As per the terms of the acquisition agreement, Terrafugia’s board of directors will now include seven more individuals.

Geely International business vice president and executive advisor to the board Nathan Yu Ning will become Terrafugia chairman.

Three other appointees from the Geely include Geely vice chairman Yang Jian and Geely strategic investment and new business vice president Frank Li Yifan, Geely Deputy chief financial officer and auditing director Ian Zhang.

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group founder and chairman Li Shufu said: “The team at Terrafugia have been at the forefront of believing in and realizing the vision for a flying car and creating the ultimate mobility solution.

“This is a tremendously exciting sector and we believe that Terrafugia is ideally positioned to change mobility as we currently understand it and herald the development of a new industry in doing so.

“Our investment in the company reflects our shared belief in their vision and we are committed to extending our full support to Terrafugia, leveraging the synergies provided by our international operations and track record of innovation, to make the flying car a reality.”

Terrafugia founder Carl Dietrich will be transitioned to the role of chief technology officer. He will also serve as one of the board of directors.


Image: Zhejiang Geely to acquire Terrafugia for an undisclosed amount. Photo: Courtesy of MNXANL/Wikipedia.