Geely restarts London cab production in Coventry

cabletaxi300The London Taxi Company has restarted production of the famous black cab, six months after the business was rescued by its previous owner’s Chinese manufacturing partner Geely Group of China.

Improvements have been made to manufacturing facilities in Coventry and around 66 jobs have been created, although 156 workers lost their jobs when previous owner Manganese Bronze called in administrators in February.

New TX4 models are now in production at the Holyhead Road plant where Geely chairman Li Shufu and Business Secretary Vince Cable (pictured) officially start production.

Li Shufu said: “Today is a milestone in the history of The London Taxi Company, but it marks just the beginning of what we believe will be a strong and prosperous future. We are pleased to have created dozens of new jobs, and have already begun work on the planning and design of the next generation of this iconic vehicle. Thanks to the work of everyone here and those who have supported us, The London Taxi Company has an exciting future ahead of it.”

The Business Secretary said that after a period of worry and uncertainty for the workforce, Geely had secured the future of the company, protecting highly skilled jobs in the Midlands and ensuring that London cabs continue to be made in Britain.

Once fully up and running, the production line will complete around 10 new taxis a day,
five days a week. The first month’s expected production has already sold out and the company expects to sell almost 2,000 vehicles in the first year following today’s restart of production. Around half of these will be for the overseas market after The London Taxi Company won export contracts in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

As part of a £150m five-year investment plan, Geely said it was continuing to examine the future needs of the London taxi market, with a view to developing new models to follow the current TX4, improving the energy efficiency and environmental footprint of the traditional London cab. The London Taxi Company is also examining a number of potential new production sites in the UK, both in the Coventry area and elsewhere.

This material is protected by copyright Ken Hurst 2013.

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About Ken Hurst

Ken Hurst began his career as a journalist in London over 30 years ago, working on a range of publications before moving on to weekly newspaper production in the newly-independent Zambia of the 1970s. He returned to the UK where his work included spells on newspapers and magazines, before moving to head up Norwich Union’s corporate affairs division. In the 1990s he moved on to freelance, co-own and publish the B2B audio magazine Sound and front the BBC radio Yesterday’s Papers programme. There followed six years as Business Editor at Britain’s biggest selling regional daily newspaper, The Eastern Daily Press, where he led an award-winning team and for whom he still writes a weekly socio/political comment column. Subsequently, he was Group Editorial Director at CBM, responsible for its UK and US magazine output – including The Manufacturer magazine – research-driven industry reports and live events content. Currently he is Contributing Editor at Works Management magazine publisher Findlay Media and Chairman of the consumer publishing house TNT Multimedia Ltd. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the British Association of Communicators in Business.
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