Volvo's parent company apparently wants to diversify its product range into the aircraft sector.Volvo parent Zhejiang Geely Holding Group has finalized its rumored buyout of US-based flying car startup Terrafugia.Founded more than a decade ago by a handful of MIT grads, the startup has since created several working prototypes with the aim of delivering its first flying car by 2019 and a vertical take-off/landing (VTOL) model by 2023.
"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," says Geely founder and chairman Li Shufu.
Geely has experienced apparent success with Volvo by keeping the brand's headquarters in Sweden. The same strategy will be applied to Terrafugia, allowing the startup to continue pursuing its projects from within the US.
Terrafugia's first flying car, known as the Transition, will be aimed at existing general aviation (GA) pilots. The startup will then focus on a simplified VTOL flight technology for urban short-range travel, expanding the potential customer base beyond wealthy hobbyists. Finally, the TF-X (pictured) serves as a long-term vision "that will bring the flying car to the masses."