Geely, DRB-Hicom partnership to take Proton, Lotus to higher level: Li Shufu

KUALA LUMPUR: Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (Geely) Chairman Li Shufu said the partnership with DRB-Hicom Bhd would bring good business opportunities for both companies, while taking the Proton and Lotus brands to a higher level.

He hoped that the sincere collaboration, would also help Proton regain market share in Malaysia and expand to Asean, while helping Lotus penetrate the global market.

"The key is to make Proton and Lotus sustainable brands moving forward, if both DRB-Hicom and Geely can capture the window of opportunities presented, and we believe, it will translate to economic benefits in the future.

"Proton is a very important Malaysian brand. It is the pride of the nation and although facing challenges recently, I believe we can turnaround the company," he added.

He said this at a press conference after the signing of the definitive agreement for Geely to take a 49.9% equity in Proton Holdings Bhd worth RM460.3 million, here today.

Shufu said there would be no direct conflict in terms of brand positioning where Proton and Geely are concerned.

"Proton's focus is more on the Asean market, with Geely looking outside the region

"However, when it (Proton) becomes profitable and has a sustainable development plan and product moving forward, then of course, the plan would be to export to other countries and there is no limit to this," he added.

Earlier in his speech, Shufu said Geely would do its utmost to transform and rejuvenate both Proton and DRB-Hicom), while contributing to the revival of the Malaysian automotive industry and rise of indigenous auto brands in the region.

"Geely will turnaround both companies in respect of profitability and pave the way for sustainable growth, while embracing new technological trends of electrification, light weighting and artificial intelligence.

"Five years of an ongoing dialogue between both parties has paved the way for us to be here today. In the spirit of being transparent and compliant, our communication in the past three years has gradually and effectively, led us to this consensus and the heads of agreement," he added. — Bernama