China’s Geely acquires luxury carmaker Lotus

The Chinese auto giant Geely which also owns Sweden’s Volvo, and will assume ownership of Lotus from the brand’s current parent company, Malaysia’s Proton.

Lotus is an iconic sports car brand that until 2015 also had its own Formula One team, but sales have lagged in recent years. Geely hopes to turn this around with its controlling 51 percent stake in the automaker. The move also reflects the Chinese brand’s expansion into Southeast Asia, as it will now have a 49.9 percent stake in Proton, according to Business Insider.

In contrast with Volvo’s more family-friendly focus, sports car makers like Lotus tend to focus more squarely on appealing to the client behind the wheel. It’s still too early to tell how the Geely acquisition will affect Lotus’ strategy for attracting sports car-obsessed Chinese consumers, but the acquisition is a boost for Geely’s prestige in the luxury car sector. One auto consultant in China tells Bloomberg that “Volkswagen has Porsche and Toyota has its Lexus”—now, Geely has its very own Lotus.

Lotus Evora 400