Geely's plan to acquire U.S. flying car startup approved

Meng Xue China Plus Published: 2017-08-08 18:39:36
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US authorities have approved the aquisition by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group of US-based flying car startup Terrafugia, thepaper.cn reports.

Terrafugia's first operational flying car - 'Transition' [File Photo: terrafugia.com]

Terrafugia's first operational flying car - 'Transition' [File Photo: terrafugia.com]

A purchase price has not been set. However, a report in the South China Morning Post (SCMP) suggests the deal is likely to be in the hundreds of millions. The SCMP is reporting Geely's takeover plans for Terrafugia began in 2016.

Founded in 2006, Terrafugia has been researching and developing its flying car model, the 'Transition,' since 2009, with various upgrades being made since then. 'Transition' is gasoline-powered, and is designed with a built-in folding wing design. It has a cruising speed of 160 km/h, and can reach heights of around 3,000 meters.

It's being reported 'Transition' was approved by the US Federal Aviation Administration in 2016 as a light sport aircraft. Terrafugia is also reportedly working on the development of a concept car known as the TF-X, which is said to be a purely electric flying car that can take off and land vertically, with its flight controlled by computers.

Terrafugia's first operational flying car - 'Transition' [File Photo: terrafugia.com]

Terrafugia's first operational flying car - 'Transition' [File Photo: terrafugia.com]

Business insiders have suggested the 'Transition' will be available for purchase in the U.S. market in 2019 as a light sport aircraft. However, it's not clear whether the vehicle has been given approval highway travel.

Geely's purchase of Terrafugia is the latest in a string of international purchases by the Zhejiang-based company. It's more conventional properties include the Volvo brand, as well as the London Taxi Company and a controlling stake in the Lotus high-end sports car brand. Geely is being quoted saying the company believes the market prospects are very bright for flying cars, as the new technology would meet market demand and could eventually improve the traffic situation in Chinese cities.

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