Who Makes Lotus Cars?

Profile view of a 2021 Lotus Evora GT


Any driver who owns Lotus cars can tell you what an incredible driving experience these precision-engineered sports cars provide. But who makes Lotus cars? Currently, Lotus is owned by Geely, a Chinese multinational company, and Etika Automotive. You can read about the interesting history of this company below.

Who Makes Lotus Cars? – A History

The history of who owns Lotus cars starts with a college student working in a garage. Here’s a timeline:

  • 1948 – Colin Chapman builds his first racing car in a garage.
  • 1952 – Colin Chapman and Colin Dare graduate from University College in London and form Lotus Engineering Ltd. Old stables behind Railway Hotel in Hornsey, North London are converted into the first factory for the company.
  • 1959 – Lotus Group of Companies is formed. This results in the formation of separate companies for consumer road cars (Lotus Cars Limited) and competition cars (Lotus Components Limited).
  • 1966 – Factory operations moved to a modern factory and road test facility in Hethel, converted from a World War II RAF airfield. Lotus cars are manufactured there to this day.
  • 1982 – Colin Chapman dies at 54 of a heart attack.

Who Owns Lotus Cars Now?

The death of Colin Chapman brought some changes for Lotus, resulting in the company being owned internationally. Here’s a modern timeline leading to who makes Lotus cars today:

  • 1986 – General Motors and Toyota buy a combined majority share in Group Lotus as co-owners. Toyota sells out to General Motors four months later.
  • 1993 – General Motors sells Lotus to A.C.B.N Holdings S.A. of Luxembourg.
  • 1996- Proton, a Malaysian car company, buys a majority share in the company.
  • 2021 – Chinese multinational Geely buys a 51% stake in Lotus. Etika Automotive, a holding company of Proton’s major shareholder Syed Mokhtar Albukhary, buys the remaining 41%.

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