The chairman of Chinese car maker Geely has confirmed that his company spoke to Lotus’s parent brand Proton two years ago, but said the talks never moved beyond the topic of technological cooperation.
Just days after rumours broke that his brand wanted to buy Lotus, Geely chairman Shufu Li said at a roundtable interview in Shanghai “Lotus’s parent company was seeking a partnership with other companies, but our conversations were just on the technological cooperation – we never talked about the purchase of equity.
“I learned of these latest rumours of an acquisition like you, through the media," he said.
While Li denied that his brand had proposed purchasing Lotus, he suggested Geely was interested in working with the British sports car maker in some way.
“Of course we are facing with different options,” he concluded, but wouldn't reveal any more.
Li added that he is a fan of motor racing himself and is building a new race track in China. When asked if his interest in driving and racing could influence a decision for Lotus, he said "I try to avoid that personal hobbies will influence business decisions."
Geely’s parent company Geely Holding Group also owns Volvo and the London Taxi Company. Li said that there were no plans to add another brand to that list at the moment.
Volvo and Geely are currently moving closer together by sharing model underpinnings and production facilities. Li said focusing on this partnership is a priority for the two brands to increase their global presence and improve efficiency.