The brand marks of Geely and Proton [Photo: Sina.com]
Geely, the Chinese auto company that acquired world famous Volvo in 2010, is looking to buy over half of Proton, the biggest car producer in Malaysia, according to a Reuters report.
The South China Morning Post adds that Renault and PSA, both based in France, will go up against the Chinese company to clinch the deal.
Geely has declined to comment on reports.
If the deal is confirmed, it will be seen as a major move by the automaker to regain overseas markets after a recent retreat in the international market.
Geely's major overseas markets are based in Northern Africa, Middle East and Russia. Due to unstable local conditions, the company has suffered from loses since 2013.
At the same time, analysts from Frost & Sullivan based in the U.S. have estimated that ASEAN countries, including Malaysia, with a population of 623 million in total, will become the sixth largest auto market by 2018.
Car produced by Proton [FIle photo: Xinhua]
Proton rose to fame worldwide in 1996 after acquiring sports car brand Lotus and had been a leading brand domestically in Malaysia.
But the company started to lose market share in the last ten years, as Japanese brands gained popularity thanks to low prices and smaller car models.
DRB-HICOM, the parent company of Proton, announced last September that they would sell over half of their shares in Proton.
The announcement was aimed at look for a partner to help the auto brand regain domestic market as well as expand in other Southeast Asian countries and eventually the global market.
Further information on the deal will be announced in April by DRB-HICOM.