Flying auto company Terrafugia bought by China's Geely

The Owner of Volvo Just Acquired a Flying Car Company

Automotive giant Zhejiang Geely Holdings Group Co Ltd has announced plans to roll out its first flying auto in 2019 after moving to acquire USA start-up firm Terrafugia which specialises in such vehicles.

Terrafugia was founded in 2006 by five graduates of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and in 2012 it launched its first flying vehicle, the Transition, priced at around US$280,000.

In anticipation of this transaction, the Company's team of engineers has tripled over the past three months with Geely Holding's approval and with Geely being fully committed to investing further in the company and creating additional jobs after completion of the acquisition.

It said it was targeting 280,000 units of the model, to be assembled at the Proton plant in Tanjung Malim, for the Southeast Asian market.

The price tag of the acquisition has not been disclosed, but Geely will acquire all outstanding shares and appoint three board members including Nathan Yu Ning, its vice president of worldwide business.

The deal has been approved by all relevant regulatory authorities, including the United States Committee on Foreign Investment (CIFIUS).

Chris Jaran, Terrafugia's newly appointed CEO, said the expansion of the company's R&D capabilities would be prioritized, according to Xinhuanet.

"We started Terrafugia with a vision to change the future of transportation with practical flying cars that enable a new dimension of personal freedom", said Carl Dietrich, Terrafugia founder, in a statement.

"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.

Geely chairman Li Shufu said: "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".

Terrafugia will remain headquartered in the USA under its new Chinese owners, while benefitting from the Zhejiang Geely group's investment, not to mention its experience within the automotive industry. 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. Geely isn't even the first automaker to be associated with flying cars.

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