Could the UK be losing another icon? With the sale of Proton and its stake in Lotus, could Lotus go the way of MG and transfer production to China? According to Bloomberg, Chinese billionaire Li Shufu said his Zhejiang Geely Holding Group will consider producing Lotus sports cars in China after agreeing to purchase stakes in Malaysian carmaker Proton Holdings Bhd. and its British unit.
This just in from the BBC, AutoNews, FT, and numerous other UK news sources, British sports car maker Lotus is being bought by China’s Geely. A statement was put out by the Hangzhou-based company. There is no notice as of yet from Lotus themselves. The purchase is part of a deal by Geely to buy a 49.9% stake in Malaysian carmaker Proton, which owns Lotus. Geely, which also owns the London Taxi Company and Sweden’s Volvo Car Group, will take a 51% stake in Lotus.
PROTON Holdings Berhad (“PROTON”) the ultimate holding company of Lotus Group, announced that it has signed a Joint Venture (“JV”) Agreement with Lotus Group International Limited, United Kingdom (“Lotus Group”) and Goldstar Heavy Industrial Co. Ltd. (“Goldstar”) for a possible business expansion of Lotus cars in the People’s Republic of China. The collaboration seeks to accelerate the development of Lotus cars in the premium sports segment in China, leveraging on the incentives offered by the Fujian Provincial Government. Both PROTON and Lotus Group are subsidiaries of DRB-HICOM Berhad. Signing on behalf of PROTON was the Honourable Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Chairman of PROTON and former Prime Minister of Malaysia and witnessed by Dato’ Abdul Harith Abdullah, Chief Executive Officer of PROTON. Signing on behalf of Lotus Group International Limited, United Kingdom was Jean-Marc Gales, Chief Executive Officer and witnessed by […]
Lotus CEO Dany Bahar is eying a possible sale or spin-off from Malaysian parent Proton. When he quit a top marketing job at Ferrari in fall 2009 to become chief executive of Lotus Cars, 37-year-old Dany Bahar already had considerable knowledge of motorsports and brand-building — but little experience in running a car company, even one as small as Lotus. Now 39, with 20 months under his belt at the helm of the tiny British sports car specialist, Bahar has embarked on an ambitious program to greatly expand the Lotus product portfolio, reposition the brand as a premium competitor to Porsche and boost annual sales volume to 6,000-8,000 cars by mid-decade, with about one-third of those going to the U.S. market. He also thinks the time may be right to separate from Malaysian parent Proton, which has owned Lotus since […]