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


Rather than just put more ve­hi­cles on the world’s con­gested road­ways, Volvo Cars owner Zhe­jiang Geely Hold­ing Group Co. is look­ing to the skies.

The Chi­nese auto maker has ac­quired a US com­pany try­ing to bring a fly­ing car to mar­ket in 2019.

Ter­rafu­gia Inc., founded by five Mas­sachusetts In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy grad­u­ates, also plans to de­liver the first ver­ti­cal take-off and land­ing car by 2023.

Fol­low­ing the deal, which Geely says has been ap­proved by all rel­e­vant reg­u­la­tors, Ter­rafu­gia will stay head­quar­tered in the US.

The ac­qui­si­tion pits Geely founder Li Shufu against bil­lion­aires in­clud­ing Google co-founder Larry Page in the race to get fly­ing-car start-ups off the ground.

Ter­rafu­gia flew its first proof-of-con­cept ve­hi­cle in 2009, ac­cord­ing to its web­site. Geely didn’t dis­close the terms of the ac­qui­si­tion in an emailed state­ment.

The com­pany said Chris Jaran, a for­mer ex­ec­u­tive at air­craft man­u­fac­turer Bell He­li­copter China, would be­come Ter­rafu­gia’s chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer ef­fec­tive im­me­di­ately.

“The sup­port that Geely has pledged to make Ter­rafu­gia’s vi­sion of a fly­ing car a com­mer­cial re­al­ity is un­prece­dented,” Jaran said in the state­ment. BLOOMBERG

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