US giant could buy Malaysian car maker, including Lotus
17 January 2007

General Motors is said to be considering a buyout of Malaysian car maker Proton.

Proton, which is owned by the Malaysian state, is currently making a loss, and a tie-up with another firm could help it out of financial difficulties.

A buyout would also give struggling GM a foothold in the expanding Far Eastern market. Proton has state-of-the-art production facilities that could be used to construct low-cost cars.

Proton is also the owner of Lotus, which GM previously owned in the 1980s. While GM has made use of Lotus's engineering skills, it is unclear if it would want to keep the Norfolk firm if it buys Proton.

VW has also previously expressed an interest in buying Lotus, though recent speculation that it could dispose of its high-end supercar brands Bugatti and Lamborghini makes a VW buyout less likely.

Come back later for further updates.

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