dglobalnews.com Lotus production could begin in China, says Geely owner
Published: Sun, June 25, 2017
Tech | By Arthur Brown

Lotus production could begin in China, says Geely owner

Lotus production could begin in China, says Geely owner

When asked about the branding coordination between Geely and Proton, Li said Proton will be targeting the Southeast Asian market.

Malaysia's national carmaker Proton is now partly owned by Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holdings Group after the signing of a deal with DRB-Hicom yesterday.

Moving Lotus production to China, where manufacturing costs are much lower than the United Kingdom, would be a simple way for Geely to boost the automaker's profits.

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group has signed a final contract with DRB-Hicom Berhad, acquiring 49.9 percent shares of the Malaysian company's Proton and 51 percent shares of its sports auto brand Lotus, following a binding contract the two inked in late May.

Geely Holding Group's announcement Friday gave no financial details.

"With the benefit of Geely's technology and expertise, Proton is now admirably prepared for the challenges ahead", he said at the signing of the definitive agreement between DRB-Hicom and Geely here today. Geely, the Chinese owner of Sweden's Volvo Cars, will inject 170.3 million ringgit ($40 million) into Malaysia's Proton as part of its purchase of a stake in the automaker and is paying 51 million pounds ($65 million) for 51 percent of Proton-owned British sports vehicle maker Lotus, an executive of the Malaysian company said Friday.

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Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who witnessed the signing, said the agreement cements a strategic partnership between the two companies. Chairman Li Shufu said the partnership with DRB-HICOM Bhd would bring good business opportunities for both companies, while taking the Proton and Lotus brands to a higher level.

"We will work together to make the most of our respective strengths to ensure a bright and sustainable future for both brands based on mutual respect and trust". "He would still prefer Proton to be 100 per cent Malaysian-owned and lose hundreds of millions of ringgit a year", Datuk Seri Najib said, without explicitly naming anyone.

Geely has owned Volvo since 2010.

"This new chapter in Proton's journey is an example of the forward-looking Malaysia we are building", he added.

He also pointed out that, following the signing of the agreement, Proton will settle its RM533mil syndicated loan from a number of Malaysian banks.

"We believe it will not take a long time because we have strong confidence in the growth of the Malaysian automotive market, and also in Proton", he said.

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