Zhejiang Geely Holding, otherwise known as Geely, has bought a significant chunk in Malaysian automaker Proton for an undisclosed amount. The stake is set at 49.9% for now but might be increased if the government allows. Remember Geely, which hails from China and is run by Li Shufu, also owns Volvo Cars. The exciting bit about this new development is that Geely has simultaneously taken a 51% stake in Lotus Cars, which is owned by Proton.

“The agreement lays the foundation for a wider framework for both Geely Holding, Proton and Lotus to explore joint synergies in areas such as research and development, manufacturing and market presence,” Geely said in the statement. That bodes well for the Proton brand, which made a brief appearance in Mzansi in the mid-2000s through products like the Satria Neo, Gen 2 and the Arena half-tonne bakkie.


Similarly Lotus will get a much-desired boost in all departments, including R&D, new product, sales and marketing. The company has not produced a brand new product since the Evora was first launched in 2009. Its previous CEO Danny Bahar had promised for years to bring a raft of exciting stuff, but kept failing. In 2015 a promise was made to build the brand’s first SUV in 2019.

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