In its quest for world domination, the Volkswagen Group is reportedly looking at buying a minority stake or even a controlling stake in Malaysian carmaker, Proton.
The courtship isn’t new as back in 2007, the German company had attempted to strike a deal with Proton. However, the deal fell through as Proton was then owned by the Malaysian government who wanted to keep Proton Malaysian.
Now that the government has sold its 42.7 percent stake in the car company to DRB-HICOM, a firm which assembles vehicles for a few foreign brands including Volkswagen (the Malaysian Passat is locally assembled from CKD kits), credible sources said Volkswagen has reignited the flame.
It is part of Volkswagen’s strategy to tap into the Malaysian market, which is a springboard to the fast growing South East Asian market that includes Thailand and Indonesia.
If the bid is successful, not only will Volkswagen own or part-own Proton, it will likewise takeover control of ailing British marque, Lotus, which is currently owned by Proton.
This could be a good thing for both Proton and Lotus, judging from what Volkswagen has done for Czech brand, Skoda. With the company’s deep pockets and immense technology base, Proton would certainly be able to draw on the Volkswagen Group’s platform and drivetrain technology which are vastly more superior to the company’s own. Lotus could also certainly benefit from some much needed funds.