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KUALA LUMPUR – [[1]] is now no more been used by James Bond as his vehicle of choice to fight villains 30 years ago. According to the investors Malaysia's Proton Holdings Bhd. should follow suit in abandoning the sports-car maker.

Proton, the Malaysian maker of sedans and taxis that bought control of [[2]] in 1996, hasn't made any profit from the British unit for 15 years and probably won't at least until 2014.

Now that Proton itself may be divested by its state-run parent, investors such as Gan Eng Peng say Lotus Group International Ltd. is ripe for a sale.

"It will make sense for them to sell it," said Gan, who helps oversee about $3.6 billion as head of equities at HwangDBS Investment Management Bhd. in Kuala Lumpur. "Proton and Lotus are not a good fit. They are in different market segments, both in terms of geography and product."

Not only this [[3]] , had to struggle to compete against Porsche AG and Ferrari S.p.A. in Europe, has hung on to relevance in the auto industry partly because of its decades-long expertise in designing lightweight frames.

Still, the company may need the backing of a carmaker more global than Proton to survive in an industry where carmakers such as Saab Automobile are filing for bankruptcy, according to Gan.

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