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Malaysia's DRB-HICOM enters joint venture to sell Lotus cars in China

[KUALA LUMPUR] Malaysia's DRB-HICOM, owner of the country's automobile manufacturer Proton, has entered into a joint venture contract with a Chinese firm, the company said in a bourse filing on Friday.

DRB-HICOM's subsidiaries Proton Holdings and Lotus Group International Limited formed a joint venture with China's Goldstar Heavy Industrial, a car manufacturer based in Fujian.

The joint venture company is to be named Goldstar LOTUS Automobile and will produce and sell Lotus cars, engines, parts and components, also providing after-sales services for its products in China.

The expected total investment sum over the span of 15 years is at 10 billion yuan (S$2.21 billion).

DRB-HICOM said the proposed joint venture is expected to push sales of its Lotus brand of vehicles by capitalising on the China market.

The firm also said that it expects the tie up to "contribute positively" to its future earnings.