Zhejiang Geely is considering an investment push in Lotus Cars, and it sounds significant, the sum being bandied being to the tune of US$1.9 billion (RM7.75 billion), Bloomberg reports. The Chinese company, which completed its acquisition of a 51% stake in Lotus last year, is looking to push the brand into the forefront once again.

The investment plan includes adding production facilities and research centres, according to an unnamed source familiar with the matter. The first phase reportedly involves an expansion of Lotus’s Hethel plant, with 200 new engineers added to the workforce, the source revealed.

Beyond this, it’s looking at opening a second factory in the UK and adding a new design and innovation centre, the source added. The idea behind this expansion is to work towards building Lotus as a luxury nameplate to compete with the likes of Porsche and Ferrari.

No details about new models were revealed, but former Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales, who left the company in June, had said earlier this year that the automaker would be coming out with two sports cars in 2020, with a SUV due in 2022.

Yesterday, it was reported that the SUV is well on its way towards an earlier 2021 debut, with a sister model following it, both expected to utilise components and powertrains from Volvo. The two cars are tipped to rival the BMW X4 and X6, similar to the two-pronged approach Porsche has made with the Macan and Cayenne.

The report adds that Geely is also apparently in discussions to increase its 51% stake in Lotus with its Malaysian partner Etika Automotive, but Geely declined to comment on the matter, and there was no response from Etika.