Zhejiang Geely Holding Group is pleased to announce it has entered into an agreement with Terrafugia Inc, a US-based company focused on the innovation, engineering and production of flying cars and future technologies, to acquire its operations and assets in their entirety.
Terrafugia was founded in 2006 by five award-winning graduates of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Since its inception, the company has made considerable progress towards realizing its vision of bringing a new form of mobility to the world, and delivered a number of working prototypes. Terrafugia aims to deliver its first flying car to the market in 2019, with the world's first VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) flying car being made available by 2023.
Under the terms of the agreement, Terrafugia will remain domiciled and headquartered in the United States of America, and continue to focus on its existing mission of developing flying cars. Terrafugia will also benefit from the Group's significant expertise and track record of innovation within the global auto industry.
This deal has received approval from all relevant regulators including the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CIFIUS).
As Terrafugia embarks upon this new phase of its development, Terrafugia is pleased to announce its new Board of Directors, the new Terrafugia Board of Directors will be compromised of seven individuals. Mr. Nathan Yu Ning, Geely Holding Vice President of International Business and Executive Advisor to the Board will become the Chairman of Terrafugia with three other appointees from the Geely Holding Company including Geely Holding Vice Chairman Mr. Yang Jian and Frank Li Yifan, Geely Holding Vice President of Strategic Investment and New Business, Mr. Ian Zhang, Geely Holding Deputy CFO and Director of Auditing. Chris Jaran - former Managing Director for Bell Helicopter China - has been announced as a board member and Chief Executive Officer effective immediately. Terrafugia founder Carl Dietrich will serve on the board of Directors and transition to the newly created role of Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and continue to work on the market actualization of flying car technology. Mr. Koen Bouwers, a seasoned executive, will continue to serve on the Terrafugia board as he has since 2008.
In anticipation of this transaction, Terrafugia's team of engineers in the USA has already been tripled over the past quarter with Geelys Holding's support. Geely Holding are fully committed to further investment in the business, including the creation of more high tech jobs in the USA, following the completion of the acquisition.
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Founder and Chairman Li Shufu said: "The team at Terrafugia have been at the forefront of believing in and realizing the vision for a flying car and creating the ultimate mobility solution. This is a tremendously exciting sector and we believe that Terrafugia is ideally positioned to change mobility as we currently understand it and herald the development of a new industry in doing so. Our investment in the company reflects our shared belief in their vision and we are committed to extending our full support to Terrafugia, leveraging the synergies provided by our international operations and track record of innovation, to make the flying car a reality."
Terrafugia's newly appointed CEO, Chris Jaran, said: "After working in the helicopter industry for over 30 years, and the aviation industry in China for 17 years, Terrafugia presents a unique opportunity to be at the forefront of a fledgling but enormously exciting industry. 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, with our first priority being the expansion of the company's R&D capabilities."
Terrafugia founder and CTO 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. 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."
Source and top image Terrafugia Inc