Lotus in ‘a good place’ to go public, valued at $5.4b

After some dreary news coming from EV players Polestar and Renault’s Ampere, Lotus is feeling confident and ready to roll with listing its shares on Nasdaq by the end of March. The EV arm of the company is valued at $5.4 billion.

Automotive News Europe reports that the Geely-owned company is merging with “blank check” company L. Catteron Asia Acquisition in the first quarter, according to company head Mike Johnstone.

While its EV arm Lotus Tech was scheduled to be listed at the end of last year, that plan was delayed for “no specific reason,” according to Johnstone, who spoke with Automotive News Europe.

“We feel we are in a good place,” he said. “We delivered the volume of cars that we expected to, and we put in place a really pragmatic plan in terms of growth and gross margin.”

The timing of the listing comes right after Volvo stopped funding struggling luxury EV maker Polestar and handed full responsibility for the brand over to Geely, which is based in China. After Polestar was listed in the US in 2022, but it has continually struggled with poor stock performance and has had to rely on funding from Volvo and Geely for funding to stay in the game. 

Also, French automaker Renault just canceled its planned IPO for its EV spinoff Ampere. While the IPO was scheduled for the first part of this year with an expected valuation of up to €10 billion ($10.47 billion), Renault says that market conditions aren’t optimal to make the move.

Adding to the grim mood, Volkswagen pushed back an IPO on its PowerCo. battery unit and plans to seek outside investors.

But Lotus says none of that will factor into their decision, with Johnstone saying that the brand’s high-end positioning puts them in a better place to ride out tough EV market conditions, said the report.

Lotus is aiming to reach 76,000 annual volume by 2025, and that’s based on sales of the Eletre SUV, Emeya sedan, and its Emira ICE sports car, at least that’s what the company said back in October. Lotus aims to go all-electric by 2028 once it replaces its Emira with an electric sports car (covered in-depth by Electrek) in 2027.

In 2026, the company also plans to release an electric SUV mysteriously dubbed Type 134 to rival the Porsche Macan. The brand expects to sell around 80,000 units of the Type 134 by 2027, which will be built in Wuhan, China, where Lotus builds its SUVs and sedans, reports Automotive News Europe.

Despite all the bad buzz in the media around electric vehicles at the moment, it won’t last, Johnstone said. The tide has already turned toward electric vehicles, and there is no going back. “You will see an increase in EV adoption driven by consumers and driven by regulators.”

Not that we’re not seeing some pushback on that. German automakers are stirring up news that Europe may push back its 2035 ban on ICE vehicles due to slow EV demand.

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