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Geely is expected to take advantage of Lotus' lightweight expertise to help make vehicles compliant with emissions regulations in China.

China's Geely, the owner of Volvo, has acquired a controlling stake in Lotus.

The buyout was part of a broader deal that resulted in Geely purchasing a 49.9 percent stake in Malaysian automaker Proton, formerly a state-owned entity that has controlled Lotus for nearly two decades.

The Proton investment is expected to give Geely an edge as it attempts to grow its presence in Southeast Asia, according to Reuters. Geely wants to produce three million cars by 2020 and sees Southeast Asia as a potential channel for a half million vehicles.

"Proton will always remain a national car and a source of pride, as Proton will still have a majority holding of 50.1 percent," Malaysia's second finance minister, Johari Abdul Ghani, said in a statement. "Our very own much-loved brand now has a real chance in making a comeback, a huge one I hope."

A BBC report suggests the buyout also paves the way for Geely's expansion into right-hand-drive markets around the globe, ranging from India to the UK, while Lotus' lightweight expertise could help make vehicles compliant with emissions regulations in China.