Lotus cars may be made in China, Geely owner says


Li Shufu says Geely will introduce new technologies at Lotus including electrification.

June 23, 2017 09:32 CET

KUALA LUMPUR — 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 and Lotus, its UK unit.

Geely signed a final deal to acquire 49.9 percent of Proton and 51 percent of Lotus Cars from Malaysia’s DRB-Hicom and expects to complete the transaction in three months, the Chinese automaker said in a statement in Kuala Lumpur on Friday. It will then form a core management team recruited from a pool of global candidates to ensure the smooth operation of Proton, the company said.

Li said the priority will be to make Proton and Lotus profitable and to sustain growth while embracing new technological trends of electrification, lightweighting and artificial intelligence.

Geely, which bought Sweden’s Volvo Cars in 2010 from Ford Motor, said the acquisition will help the automaker to be a major player in Southeast Asia and achieve a sales target of 3 million units by 2020.

“We hope to help Lotus penetrate the global market,” Li also said.

Reuters contributed to this report

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