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Volvo's parent company just bought a 'flying car' startup

14 November 2017

The acquisition of Terrafugia by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group has received approval from the USA government with the first unit to be rolled out in 2019.

An artists impression of the TF-X model of flying vehicle being developed by Terrafugia, the U.S. firm which has been bought by Lotus owner Geely Holdings.

Under the terms of the agreement, Terrafugia will remain based in its Boston, MA, headquarters and will continue to focus on its current mission to develop flying cars.

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Terrafugia is a US company based in Woburn, Massachusetts, founded in 2006 by MIT graduates.

Apart from the 2019 model, the company is also working on one that can take off and land vertically that it hopes it will be able to launch by 2023. Geely's vice president for worldwide business Nathan Yu Ning will become chairman of Terrafugia, and three other Geely executives will join the company's board.

The deal has been approved by all relevant regulatory authorities, including the United States Committee on Foreign Investment (CIFIUS).

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Chris Jaran, Terrafugia's newly appointed CEO, said the expansion of the company's R&D capabilities would be prioritized, according to Xinhuanet. "Now as part of Geely Holding Group, I am confident that we can reach that vision and subsequent commercial success by utilizing the groups' shared global synergy". And numerous companies, Terrafugia included, that are working on the technology have been known to over-promise and underperform.

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group founder and chairman Li Shufu said in a statement that the Terrafugia team is convinced that the vision for a flying auto will be realized and that the ultimate mobility solution will be created. It closed the day at HK$28.2, or 6.4% higher than Monday. He said in a statement that the investment "reflects our shared belief in their vision and we are committed to extending our full support to Terrafugia, leveraging the synergies provided by our worldwide operations and track record of innovation, to make the flying vehicle a reality". Geely isn't even the first automaker to be associated with flying cars. The Hangzhou, China-based company also owns The London Taxi Company, which operates that city's iconic black cabs, and large chunks of Malaysia's Proton and the UK's Lotus.

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Volvo's parent company just bought a 'flying car' startup