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China's Geely buys Terrafugia, promises first USA flying vehicle by 2019

14 November 2017

The Chinese auto giants, Geely, have announced that they have purchased flying vehicle developers, Terrafugia.

Terrafugia flew its first proof-of-concept vehicle in 2009, according to its website. The company expects to deliver it to the market in 2023.

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

Terrafugia was founded in 2006 by a group of MIT graduates, and is understood to be the furthest along among its peers in its development of 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.

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As cities become more congested, more and more companies are entering the race to develop safe, reliable and relatively affordable flying cars. Chris Jaran, former managing director for Bell Helicopter China, was also appointed as a board member and will take over as CEO.

Geely chairman Li Shufu said: "The team at Terrafugia have been at the forefront of believing in and realizing the vision for a flying auto and creating the ultimate mobility solution".

The Chinese automotive giant, which also owns Volvo, said Terrafugia would benefit from its significant expertise and track record of innovation across the globe. "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".

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

The company's other prototype model, named TF-X, features retractable wings that allow the aircraft to take off and land vertically like a helicopter, The Verge said in a report. Geely isn't even the first automaker to be associated with flying cars.

China's Geely buys Terrafugia, promises first USA flying vehicle by 2019