The Chinese automaker is rumored to announce later today its intention to acquire a controlling 49 percent stake in Malaysian automaker Proton, which is also the patron of British sports car brand Lotus.
Geely – the Chinese automaker that has global intentions thanks to its Swedish premium automaker Volvo and the newly minted Lynk&Co. brand, is also apparently looking to become a niche player – with reports coming from British media that it’s optioning a controlling share chunk Malaysian car company Proton. The deal has been rumored and speculated on numerous occasions and at one time even the PSA Group – now proud owners of Opel/Vauxhall – were in the bidding run for Proton. It would have certainly be interesting to see Peugeot, Citroen, DS Automobiles, Opel and Vauxhall together with sports car maker Lotus, as this time around the new brand would not have represented direct competition against the original ones.
Now Geely is clearly a player looking to come up from the crop of local Chinese manufacturers – who usually are content in fighting for their own chunk of market at home through deals with established global automakers. Geely is among the few with global ambitions – and their strategy is to have established brands, or even new ones altogether, instead of trying to reach established markets with their own, local marques. The deal with proton is almost certain – DRB-Hicom, the parent company of Proton announced the Malaysian stock exchange it needs to suspend share deals on Wednesday, pending an “announcement”.