Geely Buys Lotus And Proton In Surprise Deal, Here Are the First Details

Volvo owner Geely has been confirmed as the buyer of a majority stake in Lotus, which is linked to another purchase of Proton shares.
Lotus 2 Eleven 1 photo
Photo: Lotus
While it appeared that Geely had left the negotiation process, the Hong Kong conglomerate that also owns Volvo seems to have made a surprise comeback with cash in hand, so to speak.

The British brand will have 51% of its stocks acquired by Zhejiang Geely Holding, while the same firm will buy 49.9 percent of Proton.

The Malaysians at Proton already owned Lotus since 1996, but the DRB-Hicom conglomerate that owns the latter has been struggling to sell it to cut losses short.

If Geely manages to do its magic with Lotus, and bring a cash infusion comparable to the one experienced by Volvo, things could move in a favorable direction for the Norfolk company.

Once things get in line, Geely might take advantage of all of the automakers it acquired to boost its products for the domestic market.

Synergies in research and development, manufacturing, and market presence were already mentioned in the relationship between Proton and Lotus, and we think it may be a matter of time until Volvo gets referred to in a board room.

The Swedish brand is known for its simple but stylish interiors, complemented by a clear focus on safety.

Meanwhile, Lotus is both loved and hated for its simplified cars, which cannot be sold in the USA in all of the available configurations because of safety regulations.

Proton might benefit from the experience of both brands, and hopefully get a better position in its domestic market, but an international presence may be kept to the lowest possible level until it prepares a revamped range.

Malaysia’s government will "always" keep a majority hold of Proton, and local authorities in its homeland hope that it will make a tremendous comeback thanks to its new co-owners.

As Automotive News notes, other bidders for Proton and Lotus included Renault, Suzuki, and the PSA Group. All but the latter, Geely included, were believed to have left the table, but it looks like Opel and Lotus might not work together under the roof of the same owner.
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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