Flying vehicle company Terrafugia bought by China's Geely

Group Lotus owner snaps up flying car maker

The Zhejiang Geely Holding Group has completed the purchase of flying vehicle developer Terrafugia for an undisclosed price, and the Woburn, Massachusetts-based company will remain in the United States, according to Automotive News.

The two companies plan to utilise their respective expertise to further the development of flying cars, with Terrafugia already having tripled its United States engineering team as part of an expansion ahead of the takeover.

Terrafugia was set up by graduates from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2006. In recent months the company has been aggressively scaling up its engineering force in preparation of the acquisition from Geely.

According to The Verge, Terrafugia's flying auto model, named Transition, a road-ready prop plane with retractable wings, received approval from the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2012, essentially making it street-legal there.

Chris Jaran, Terrafugia's newly appointed CEO, said the expansion of the company's R&D capabilities would be prioritized, according to Xinhuanet.

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Meanwhile, Terrafugia founder Carl Dietrich is staying on as the company's 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.

Li Shufu, founder and chairman of Zhejiang Geely Holding believes that "Terrafugia is ideally positioned to change mobility as we now understand it and herald the development of a new industry in doing so". Shares in Geely Automobile Holdings, the Chinese company's core Hong Kong-listed subsidiary, soared to an all-time high of 28.4 Hong Kong dollars, immediately following the announcement on Tuesday.

However, the company did not disclose any financial details concerning the deal, The China Daily newspaper reported today. Geely isn't even the first automaker to be associated with flying cars.

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