Volvo's parent firm Geely to buy U.S. flying-car startup Terrafugia

Volvo's parent firm Geely to buy U.S. flying-car startup Terrafugia

Chinese automaker, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, will soon have a "flying car" in its portfolio.

Geely has announced it has taken over US-based Terrafugia Inc, which has made headlines for developing and displaying flying cars for many years but not yet selling any.

Terrafugia remains in the USA, but will team up with Geely Holding's own engineering resources.

Geely has committed to investing heavily in the Massachusetts-based firm, which wants to bring its first flying auto to market in 2019, and the world's first VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) flying vehicle by 2025.

Terrafugia, despite being founded by a quintet of MIT graduates, is hardly immune to such skepticism.

As cities become more congested, more and more companies are entering the race to develop safe, reliable and relatively affordable flying cars.

The price tag of the acquisition has not been disclosed, but Geely will acquire all outstanding shares and appoint three board members including Nathan Yu Ning, its vice president of worldwide business. He will also serve as one of the board of directors.

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Under the acquisition terms, Terrafugia is expected to be domiciled and headquartered in the United States and will continue to focus on developing flying cars.

"Now as part of Geely Holding Group I am confident that we can reach that vision and subsequent commercial success by utilising the Group's shared global synergy", he added.

"This is a tremendously exciting sector and we believe that Terrafugia is ideally positioned to change mobility as we now understand it and herald the development of a new industry in doing so". Dietrich will remain in the company as chief technology officer, a newly created position, after the acquisition.

However, the company did not disclose any financial details concerning the deal, The China Daily newspaper reported today.

Terrafugia will remain headquartered in the U.S. under its new Chinese owners, while benefitting from the Zhejiang Geely group's investment, not to mention its experience within the automotive industry.

If Geely's ambition is to beat Uber (and everyone else) to the very prestigious flying vehicle punch by offering such a service, it may have found the flawless halo to showcase its capabilities.

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