On the morning of June 23rd at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in downtown KL, Proton and Geely put pen to paper with the signing of the Definitive Agreement between DRB-Hicom and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group.
Continuing on following the recent development owner of Proton Holdings Berhad, DRB-HICOM Berhad, has reached an agreement with Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. Ltd. from China to acquire 49.9% equity in the national car company.
The historic occasion held at the Grand Ballroom of the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur was graced by the presence of Malaysian Premier YAB Dato’ Seri Mohd Najib Tun Haji Abdul Razak as well as ZGH chairman Li Shufu.
The two parties DRB-Hicom and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. Ltd were represented by MD Datuk Seri Syed Faisal Albar and ZGH president An Conghui respectively, the official signing taking place exactly 30 days after an initial agreement on the deal was made in Putrajaya.
With the official signing of the definitive agreement, DRB-Hicom shall also relinquish its 100% ownership of Lotus Advance Technology to ZGH and Etika Automotive, ending up with 51% majority stakes of Lotus going to ZGH.
Mr. Daniel Li (Executive Vice President and CFO of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group) explained that for Lotus, ZGH will increase new product launches and capacity to fully release the brand’s appeal. He added that Proton and Lotus will create synergies for ZGH to position itself as a major player in the ASEAN market.
The day’s occasion came to a climax with the unveiling of the Geely Boyue – set to be the first Proton SUV, and the first Proton and Geely tie-up; having been confirmed recently as such. A medium sized SUV with five seating capacity, the Geely Boyue is the handiwork of Peter Horbury, a former Volvo designer who heads Geely’s International design studios. Sporting an attractive and trendy low slung SUV design concept, the Boyue sits a little larger than a Honda CRV and yet a little smaller than the Nissan X-Trail.
Two engine configurations are available, one’s normally aspirated (162bhp 210Nm 2.4 liter) the other’s turbocharged (163bhp 250Nm 1.8 liter Turbo). The contemporary design ethos continues on the inside with a modern and cocooning cabin, aesthetically appealing fascia, and as ever a lengthy offering of cutting edge technology with the comfort and convenience of the occupants firmly primed.
Indeed if this be anything to go by, it seems that exciting times are ahead for Proton. Let us hope this time it happens for real.