Chinese automaker Geely is expanding its portfolio. Not only does it produce cars under its own name, but it also owns Volvo, the London Taxi Company, and is in the process of launching the new Lynk & Co brand. And now it’s bringing another couple of brands under its vast umbrella.
Under a new deal announced today, Geely will acquire nearly half of DRB-HICOM’s stake in Malaysian automaker Proton, and a majority of its ownership in British sports car manufacturer Lotus.
The final terms are still being ironed out, and aren’t expected to be announced until July. Unclear at the moment is whether Geely will be getting only half of the shares that DRB-HICOM holds in Proton and Lotus, or of the automakers altogether. However the arrangement looks poised to put Lotus under new ownership for the fifth time in the past three decades or so.
The company founded by Colin Chapman became part of General Motors in 1986, was acquired by Romano Artioli of Bugatti fame in 1993, and sold to Proton in 1996, which was in turn acquired by DRB-HICOM in 2012.
Only time will tell what Geely has in store for Lotus (and for Proton). But if it can do for the legendary English brand what it has for Volvo and LTC, it could amount to a positive future for the “add lightness” constructor.