Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding, the same company that owns Volvo, has announced it is buying a 49.9 percent stake in struggling automaker Proton and along with it a controlling stake in famed British sports car builder Lotus.
Geely will acquire a 51 percent stake in Lotus from Proton as part of the deal, an exciting development for fans of the brand as Geely is committed to growing all of its automakers. Geely will now be able to explore joint projects between its automotive properties, which should result in streamlined research and development processes.
Beyond just finding efficiencies, Geely CFO Daniel Donghui Li says that his company wants to “unleash the full potential of Lotus Cars.” An all-new phase of development and accelerated product rollout strategy will see new Lotus cars rolling on the street much sooner than what was planned at the brand.
While Geely will offer Lotus a large budget, it is expected that Geely will go to Lotus for expertise in lightweight chassis technology, helpful for vehicles looking to meet new fuel economy regulations.
Geely will also help Malaysian automaker Proton with new technologies, developed with the help of Volvo. Proton previously attempted to woo partners, but before now, the Malaysian government would not allow a foreign bidder to get in on the deal. Proton still maintains a 50.1 percent share in the company, because it is a national company and a point of pride for the Malaysian government.
[Source: Automotive News]