Currently reading: Geely buys Lotus, stake in Proton
Volvo owner to purchase 49% of Malaysian car maker and take majority control of Lotus
Jimi Beckwith
News
2 mins read
23 May 2017

Geely, the owner of Volvo, will take control of Lotus and a 49.9% stake in Malaysian car maker Proton.

The Chinese company has agreed to buy the stake in the loss-making Proton from its parent company DRB-Hicom. As well as a controlling share of Proton, Geely will buy a 51% majority stake in British sports car firm Lotus. DRB-Hicom will retain 50.1% of Proton and will look to sell its remaining stake in Lotus. The definitive agreement is expected to be completed in July.

Proton has owned a majority stake in Lotus, based near Norwich, since 1996. Lotus turned a profit for the first time in its history late last year.

The deal will give Proton access to Geely's powertrains and platforms, while giving Geely increased access to the South East Asian market. In a statement, Geely said the deal will also allow synergies in research and development, manufacturing and market presence. The agreement comes following a long string of speculation, rumours and denials. The PSA Group had also been in the running to buy Proton.

Lotus Elise: The troubled road that led to the revolutionary sports car

Donghui Li, the executive vice-president of Geely Holding Group, said: “With Proton and Lotus joining the Geely Group portfolio of brands we strengthen our global footprint and develop a beachhead in South East Asia.

“Geely Holding is full of confidence for the future of Proton. We will fully respect the brand’s history and culture to restore Proton to its former glory with the support of Geely’s innovative technology and management resources.

“Reflecting our experience accumulated through Volvo Cars' revitalisation, we also aim to unleash the full potential of Lotus Cars and bring it into a new phase of development by expanding and accelerating the rolling out of new products and technologies.”

DRB-Hicom’s group managing director, Syed Faisal Albar, said: “Our intention was always to ensure the revitalisation of the Proton nameplate. This deal will be the catalyst to elevate a brand that Malaysians resonate with.”

Geely was founded in the Zhejiang province of China in 1986, originally as a refrigerator manufacturer. The firm's expansion into automotive products began with motorbikes before it started producing cars in 2002. Geely Automobiles has a major presence in the Chinese car market, with the firm expanding internationally after buying Volvo from Ford in 2010. Geely also purchased The London Taxi Company (LTC) in 2012.

Read more: 

Lotus could be bought by Geely with PSA Group taking over Proton

Lotus: Proton sale "changes nothing"

PSA confirms Vauxhall and Opel deal

Proton sale decision expected imminently

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gavsmit 25 May 2017

Taking some positives from this

I'd hope that Geely will bring cheap high volume production techniques with more financial backing for new development that results in a range of great, more affordable, Lotus models.

I would love to see a new Lotus roadster that can compete against an MX-5 on price. With a Lotus badge on the front and Lotus know-how and heritage, the Mazda MX-5 would no longer be running a one (or with the Fiat 124, two) horse race.

Only after the success of a model like that would people be more likely to invest higher sums of money in something like a new model Esprit with all the bells and whistles.

Sato F1-2002 24 May 2017

Lotus

I'm 5'8" can I fit in a Lotus?
bol 24 May 2017

Sato F1-2002 wrote:

Sato F1-2002 wrote:

I'm 5'8" can I fit in a Lotus?

I'm 6'4" and I fit, as long as I hunch with the roof on and don't use the higher gears. That's fine though. It's better with the roof off and in the lower gears.

bol 24 May 2017

Electric Elises?

Geely have the electric tech. It would be great to see Lotus do an electric Elise under its own brand for once. Increased power density means that they wouldn't even have to add much heaviness.

As someone who lives round the corner from Hethel, I find this all very exciting!

Citytiger 24 May 2017

bol wrote:

bol wrote:

Geely have the electric tech. It would be great to see Lotus do an electric Elise under its own brand for once. Increased power density means that they wouldn't even have to add much heaviness.

As someone who lives round the corner from Hethel, I find this all very exciting!

T8 407bhp plug in hybrid Elise anybody.. Yes please..

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