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

Group Lotus owner snaps up flying car maker

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.

Why did they buy the flying vehicle company?

Today, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, owner of Volvo Car, announced that it has reached an agreement with Terrafugia Inc.to acquire the activities and assets of the U.S. company.

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.

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

Terrafugia's TF-X, the company's future product, is a plug-in hybrid vehicle with two tilt-rotors that aims to become the first fully autonomous flying auto, with vertical take-off and landing.

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Under the terms of the agreement, Terrafugia will remain based in its Boston, MA, headquarters and will continue to focus on its current mission to develop flying cars.

"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", said Li Shufu, Zhejiang Geely founder and chairman.

Following the deal, which Geely says has been approved by all relevant regulators, Terrafugia will stay headquartered in the U.S. The acquisition pits Geely Founder Li Shufu against billionaires including Google Co-Founder Larry Page in the race to get flying-car startups off the ground.

It said Terrafugia, which was formed by five graduates of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2006, had managed to sell a few units of Transition at US$279,000 (RM1.17 million) each.

Terrafugia founder Carl Dietrich will be transitioned to the role of chief technology officer.

The Chinese automotive giant, which also owns Volvo, said Terrafugia would benefit from its significant expertise and track record of innovation across the globe. He will also serve as one of the board of directors.