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Geely, Volocopter team up for aircraft joint venture

German company, Volocopter, a specialist in the manufacture of autonomous air vehicles, has teamed up with a second-tier subsidiary of Geely Holding Group to establish a joint venture in Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province on Wednesday.

The joint venture will take charge of production and market operation of Volocopter products in the Chinese market. It plans to help promote urban air mobility (UAM) in China in the coming three to five years.

The new company, which was named Volocopter (Chengdu) Technology Co., Ltd., or Volocopter Chengdu for short, also signed orders with Volocopter for 150 aircraft, including logistics unmanned aerial vehicles and manned aircraft.

Air vehicles and their parts will be produced in Hubei Geely Terrafugia, a manufacturing base of Geely in China, according to the joint venture.

Volocopter Chengdu will also attend the 13th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition (Airshow China) on Sept. 28.

"Today marks another important milestone on our journey to bring affordable electric air mobility to China, the biggest single market opportunity for the UAM industry," said Florian Reuter, CEO of Volocopter via video link.

UAM refers to a new mode of urban transportation that uses electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft to move people or goods within lower urban and suburban airspaces. It helps relieve the strain on increasingly congested city roads and allows people and goods to reach their destinations faster and more safely.

Volocopter is currently the world's first and only eVTOL aircraft manufacturer that has obtained design and production approval from European Union Aviation Safety Agency. 

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