Listed on the stock exchange in February at twice its current valuation, Lotus needs fresh money to finance its expansion. Geely is thinking big: while the British plant in Hethel was producing 1,500 vehicles a year, the Chinese group has invested $1.3 billion in a new plant in Wuhan to produce a hundred times more and conquer the world.

With the help of L Catterton, who knows a thing or two about luxury, Geely's ambition is to turn Lotus into a new Porsche - no less - since it bought the legendary British carmaker from the Malaysian conglomerate DRB-Hicom. To this end, in addition to the Wuhan plant, a state-of-the-art R&D center has been set up in Raunheim, Germany.

Now focused exclusively on electric vehicles, Lotus doubled the number of models delivered in the last quarter, to 3,749, compared with 1,782 in the third quarter. By comparison, Aston Martin and Lucid delivered around 6,000 vehicles in 2023.

Naturally, Lotus' accounts are in the red, with a loss of $750 million and negative shareholders' equity at year-end. The speculative dimension of an investment is very strong here.

Geely's operating history, however, speaks for itself. The group has had spectacular success with its turnaround plan for Volvo, which has never sold as many vehicles - nor made such juicy margins - as it has since it came under Chinese flag.

With Lotus, Geely's objective is to achieve sales of $8.2 to $8.6 billion within two years - compared with $679 million today - and a gross margin comparable to Tesla's, with 40% of sales generated in China. As you can see, this is a project of uncommon ambition.

What's more, it's the market shares of Tesla and Porsche that Lotus intends to attack in the West, by positioning itself in the higher price range of the former and a notch below the price range of the latter. Will it work?

Lotus has an enterprise value of $5.6 billion, compared with $4.6 billion for Lucid and $2.2 billion for Aston Martin. The difference between them is that neither Lucid nor Aston Martin has any hope of scaling up as quickly as Lotus.