Chinese vehicle manufacturing firm, Geely, has bought a controlling stake in Lotus and parent company Proton. Geely will purchase a 51% majority stake in Lotus and a 49.9% stake in Proton with the definitive agreement expected to be completely in July of 2017.
Geely will utilize its stake in Porton to make more in-ground gains in the South East Asian auto market. The deal will give Proton access to Geely’s platforms and powertrains while allowing both companies to cooperate on research and development.
Geely chairman Li Shufu has said that the priority for both of these brands is to get them in the green and profitable. Lotus has just posted a profit for the first time in 20 years and Geely hopes to expand on that.
Geely has not confirmed whether or not production will be moving to China. However, as with Volvo’s S90, Geely may move production of both Lotus and Proton to China. That move is not off the table given the fact that production costs are lower in China.
Shufu said that Geely will emphasize electrification, autonomous driving technology, and weight reduction for both brands. It is also possible that the Lotus brand will produce it’s first ever SUV as buyers worldwide are driving demand for that highly profitable segment.
Lotus has confirmed a new Elise for 2020.
We will have more on the purchase when it is finalized in July.