Volvo owner buys flying-car maker planning first model for 2019

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Today, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, owner of Volvo Car, announced that it has reached an agreement with Terrafugia Inc.to acquire the activities and assets of the USA company.

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

Terrafugia, which aims to deliver its first flying vehicle to market in 2019, will continue to be based in America and Geely said it had already tripled the engineering team in preparation for the sale. Although the company will be under the wing of the Chinese, it will maintain autonomy over its major research and development capabilities and production facilities, while looking to synergize with Geely in accelerating development. One of them is PAL-V., a Dutch company that had its design model unveiled by Prince Albert of Monaco during The Top Marques Supercar Show and that recently started the sales of its commercial models for delivery by the end of next year.

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The acquisition has been approved by all necessary governmental regulators, including the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), The Paper reports.

According to The Verge, Terrafugia's flying vehicle model, named Transition, a road-ready prop plane with retractable wings, received approval from the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2012, essentially making it street-legal there. Dietrich will remain in the company as chief technology officer, a newly created position, after the acquisition.

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

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Terrafugia will remain headquartered in the U.S. under its new Chinese owners, while benefitting from the Zhejiang Geely group's investment, not to mention its experience within the automotive industry. Shares in Geely Automobile Holdings, the Chinese company's core Hong Kong-listed subsidiary, soared to an all-time high of 28.4 Hong Kong dollars, immediately following the announcement on Tuesday.

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

Francis Kwok Sze-chi, managing director at Freeman Securities in Hong Kong, told NQN: "Demand for "flying cars" is promising in China where traffic congestions are chronic headaches".

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