Geely is rumored to be pursuing Lotus.
A new report suggests that Geely, the Chinese automaker that owns Volvo, could wind up as the new parent company of sports car maker Lotus.
Thanks to shaky financial ground it seems like a new Lotus sale rumor pops up every few years, with the latest involving a plan to shift ownership of the Lotus brand from Proton to Geely. Both Proton and Lotus are currently owned by DRB-Hicom.
According to The Star Online, DRB-Hicom recently closed a round of bidding for its Proton Holdings Bhd division, which holds both the Proton and Lotus brands. Only two companies were interested in acquiring Proton Holdings Bhd — Geely and French automaker PSA.
However, those two automakers are said to be interested in different parts of Proton Holding; Geely is reportedly interested in the niche Lotus brand while PSA wants the volume-oriented Proton car brand.
"Proton is of no use to Geely. It wants Proton because of the auto technology in Lotus. And for PSA, which is strong in sport-utility vehicles (SUVs), it is not keen on Lotus," an inside source told The Star Online.
Although tapping Lotus for its auto tech might be part of Geely's play, we doubt it's the entire story. Lotus has always been somewhat of an underachiever, striking success with driving enthusiasts but never carrying the cachet of a brand like Porsche. Given Geely's spectacular turnaround of the Volvo brand, it's possible Geely could be targeting a similar transformation for Lotus. Adding a premium sports car brand could be another way of padding Geely's bottom line.
However, we've heard plenty of Lotus sale rumors of the years, so this one should be taken with a grain of salt.