Flying cars come closer to reality as Volvo parent buys Terrafugia

Geely Finally Buys Terrafugia

Geely Finally Buys Terrafugia

"The team at Terrafugia have been at the forefront of believing in and realizing the vision for a flying vehicle and creating the ultimate mobility solution", Geely's founder and chairman Li Shufu said in a statement.

Not so for Terrafugia, whose flying cars look like cars and are also entirely roadworthy, converting in an instant as large wings fold out to allow passengers to soar through the sky. "Terrafugia's idea is effectively the other way around; a light, 'sports 'plane" (and the definition is specific as under USA law you need half the amount of instruction and licence passing for a sport 'plane than for something more sophisticated or powerful) that can be driven as a auto between home and local airport, before converting to an aircraft.

News of the purchase first made the rounds back in July, when the South China Morning Post reported that China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co was considering adding the 11-year-old Terrafugia to its portfolio. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States showed green signal to Terrafugia and in the result, Terrafugia tripled its engineer count to almost 100 in expectation of Geely's cash.

People may dream of flying cars, especially when they are stuck in a traffic jam.

Terrafugia says this could slightly hurt the United States economy. After buying Volvo Cars and investing in Lotus Cars, Geely Holding eyes a nascent market that could grow exponentially in the following years as autonomous technologies mature.

Geely Finally Buys Terrafugia
The Owner of Volvo Just Acquired a Flying Car Company

And while the Transition requires a runway for take-off and landing, Terrafugia aims to bring a VTOL (vertical take off and landing) model to market at a later date.

Geely International business vice president and executive advisor to the board Nathan Yu Ning will become Terrafugia chairman.

"The support that Geely has pledged to make Terrafugia's vision a commercial reality is unprecedented", said Terrafugia's newly appointed CEO Chris Jaran, who was most recently managing director of Bell Helicopter.

Speaking about the buy-out, Terrafugia founder and its chief technical officer Carl Dietrich said: "We started Terrafugia with a vision to change the future of transportation with practical flying cars that enable a new dimension of personal freedom".

Geely and Terrafugia haven't committed to a specific date to launching its own service.

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