China's Geely to hold Proton and Lotus shares, says DRB-Hicom

"I firmly believe that Proton's best days are ahead of it", Li said.

PONSB is a subsidiary of Proton Holdings, as the main production, operations, manufacturing and marketing company.

China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group's (Geely) wholly-owned subsidiary Geely International (Hong Kong) Ltd will receive and hold shares in Proton Holdings Bhd and Lotus Advance Technologies Sdn Bhd (Lotus) respectively, according to DRB-Hicom Bhd.

Dr Li has devoted his entire 30-year career to the automotive industry and has worked with major global brands such as Honda, Kia and Dongfeng in various high level roles.

Meanwhile, Winfried Vahland, who was formerly the chairman and chief executive officer of Czech automobile manufacturer Skoda Auto, is also on the board of PONSB. The company is working to jointly develop a mid-sized sports utility vehicle, the first of such offering by Proton. Joining him are DRB-Hicom nominees Shaharul Farez and Amalanathan Thomas, and Geely nominees Daniel Donghui Li and Feng Qing Feng.

DRB-Hicom Group managing director, Datuk Seri Syed Faisal Albar will remain as Proton Holdings Bhd chairman.

"I am appointed to turn around Proton and I believe Proton will be revived as the number one local brand in the country and a leading brand in Asean", he said during a press conference yesterday.

The joint goal of both teams is to see Proton restored to being the best-selling brand within Malaysia and a top three Asean brand in the coming years. "Certainly next year will not be profitable, but we may be able to reduce the losses in the following year, and breakeven in the third and the fourth year", he said.

However, the parties involved have agreed not to transfer the preference shares in Lotus Cars Ltd to Geely and Etika on the completion date pending further discussions between the parties, without any changes to the total sale consideration for the proposed divestment.

Meanwhile, Lotus Advance Technologies Sdn Bhd has ceased to be an effective wholly-owned unit of DRB-Hicom, it said.

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