Is A Takeover Of Lotus Owner Proton Imminent?

Rumor

The sports car maker's probably not behind the interest in Proton, though.

Lotus may be heading in the direction of financial stability, but things aren't quite as rosy for the company that owns it, Proton. Whereas Lotus can see the road to recovery, Proton comes across in this navigational analogy as a firm that's rather lost; unable to find a route out of the loss-making labyrinth it currently finds itself in. As a result, it's perhaps no surprise to hear that - according to Automotive News Europe - Proton's owners are keen to shed a lot of the brand's baggage.

As stated in the report, Proton owner DRB-Hicom has allegedly attracted interest from Suzuki, Renault and PSA (the group comprised of Peugeot, Citroen and DS) in at least a stake in Proton - with a majority stake apparently on the cards. Of course, none of this is official information (it's all sourced from anonymous sources and between-the-lines inferences), but it could indeed be plausible. After all, this wouldn't be the first time we've heard of Proton being involved in discussions with other car makers, and it's likely that a lot of this presumed interest is down to the two large factories that Proton also owns.

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Automotive News Europe also goes as far to say Lotus could be sold off. It's probable that this one's less likely, though - as talented as Lotus' workforce may be, a set of factories with the alleged capacity to produce 400,000 cars per year and improved access to the growing Southeast Asian markets are likely to be the bigger draw behind this deal than the chance to buy a low-volume sports carmaker with a less-than-stellar financial history. Regardless of which assets DRB-Hicom is said to have placed on the table, though, it's still an intriguing story that we'll be keeping track of. If Automotive News Europe's sources aren't telling porkies, and a deal is agreed upon, the end results could be rather interesting.

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