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China's Geely buys U.S. flying car maker
 
Terrafugia TF-X Photo: Terrafugia
 
China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group has announced it will acquire all operations and assets of Terrafugia Inc, a U.S.-based flying car developer, according to its website on Monday.
 
Geely did not disclose the volume of the deal, but said it had received approval from all relevant regulators in the United States including The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
 
"This is a tremendously exciting sector and we believe that Terrafugia is ideally positioned to change mobility as we currently understand it," said Li Shufu, founder and chairman of Geely, adding that Geely is committed to extending full support to Terrafugia and to make the flying car a reality.
 
Founded in 2006 by five award-winning graduates of the Massachusetts Institute of Tehnology, Terrafugia is focused on innovation, engineering and production of flying cars.
 
The company which has delivered a number of working prototypes aims to deliver its first flying car to the market in 2019 and release the world's first flying car with vertical take-off and landing by 2023, according to Terrafugia’s website.
 
According to the agreement, Terrafugia will remain headquartered in the US, and continue to focus on its existing mission of developing flying cars.
 
“The support that Geely has pledged to make Terrafugia’s vision of a flying car a commercial reality is unprecedented, and I assume this role with full of confidence for the future,” said Chris Jaran, Terrafugia's newly appointed CEO, adding that the expansion of the company’s R&D capabilities would be prioritized.
 
“We started Terrafugia with a vision to change the future of transportation with practical flying cars that enable a new dimension of personal freedom. Now as part of Geely Holding Group I am confident that we can reach that vision and subsequent commercial success by utilising the Groups shared global synergy,” Carl Dietrich, Terrafugia founder and CTO said.
 
Founded in 1986, Geely which is headquartered in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang Province, launched its automotive business in 1997. In 2010, Geely purchased Volvo from Ford for $1.8 billion. 
 
Following the deal, Geely has made more purchases of overseas car makers. In 2013, it bought London Taxi Company, the UK-based manufacturer of London’s municipal cabs for $17.5 million. It also opened a plant in the West Midlands to produce electric taxis. 
 
In anticipation of the deal and the increased investment Geely’s ownership will bring, Terrafugia has already tripled the number of its US-based engineers from 30 staff to close to 100.
 
With more than 70,000 employees worldwide, Geely which has been listed in the Fortune 500 for the past five years, sold more than 1.3 million vehicles in 2016, with Volvo Car sales reaching historic high of 534,332 cars globally. 

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