China automaker Geely buys US flying car company Terrafugia
November 13, 2017 – Chinese carmaker Geely has literally taken to the skies with its just revealed purchase of the American maker of flying cars.
Both companies revealed the acquisition today.
Terrafugia, is a start-up by five Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduates. It won approval last year from the Federal Aviation Authority for its car-plane, Transition, under the Light Sport Aircraft category.
Geely made the purchase through Swedish carmaker Volvo Cars, which it bought in 2010.
Terrafugia, which was formed in 2006, is aiming to put its cars on the road – and skies – in 2019. And it has announced plans to launch a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) vehicle by 2023.
With the backing of Geely (full name Zhejiang Geely Holding Group), this seems a more likely possibility now.
The company will remain domiciled in the US. Geely Vice President of International Business and Executive Advisor to the Board Nathan Yu Ning will be chairman of Terrafugia.
The founder of Terrafugia, Carl Dietrich, who was the Chief Executive, will become Chief Technology Officer, a newly-created post. And his CEO role will be taken up by Chris Jaran. Mr Jaran was previously Bell Helicopter China’s Managing Director.
Both Mr Dietrich and Mr Jarran will sit on Terrafugia’s Board.