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Saved! Our Black Cabs

Thursday 16 January 2014

One year on from being saved by Chinese firm Geely, the London Taxi Company announces..



 Destined to hit the streets of London in 2018.

The company, part of global automotive group Geely Automobile Holdings, is confident that it has the technology, experience and investment to manufacture and retail a globally-dominant and iconic Black Cab, which meets Mayor Boris Johnson’s air quality ambitions for London.
Vice-President of UK Operations, Peter Johansen said:

“Given Geely’s green credentials and their commitment to invest £200m in green taxi technology over the next 5 years, coupled with our own  extensive experience and enviable heritage, we feel comfortable that we will provide London with an  environmentally-sound Black Cab, which can meet the future air quality demands of our capital city, whilst also delivering a vehicle which is recognised by the general public as a taxi.  “Geely’s investment has allowed us to do what we do best; create purpose-built vehicles. It’s not a  van conversion; it’s designed from the ground up to be a London Taxi and will be robust and durable  in order to survive the demanding taxi duty cycle. “It responds to Mayor Boris Johnson’s vision for improving London’s air quality and the future global environmental challenges. It also delivers against the needs and expectation of the taxi trade and is an evolution of the iconic, instantly recognisable London Taxi that is loved, admired and respected the world over. “Geely’s investment means that we have the funds and the capabilities required to further improve the eco-credentials of our existing vehicle. It also means that we will be able to fulfil our aspiration to relocate from our Coventry factory to another UK production facility, invest in state-of-the art tooling and further bolster the domestic manufacturing industry and economy through recruitment and global export opportunities.” 

Although many details of the exciting new icon are being kept firmly under wraps, the following specification information for the future London Taxi has been released:

  • A plug-in range extended electric London Taxi
  • A no compromise, zero-emissions capable Black Cab
  • Purpose-built to be a taxi (eg not a car/van conversion)
  • A European Whole Vehicle Type Approved Black Cab which meets the London Conditions of Fitness
  • Front-wheel steer 25ft turning circle
  • Fully accessible including front-facing wheelchair seating position
  • New lightweight body structure
  • Exceptional fuel economy
  • Lower overall cost of ownership
  • Outstanding driver comfort and ergonomics
  • Six passenger seats in rear
  • Advanced technological driver and passenger features
  • Evolution of the iconic London Taxi shape
  • NCAP 5 Safety-rated


The London Taxi manufacturer, based in Coventry, already retails its Euro 5-compliant TX4
across the UK. This vehicle represented a major milestone for the UK firm, as engineers have
reduced harmful Diesel Particulates emitted from the TX4 tailpipe to a negligible 0.0005g/km and NOx to just 0.28g/km; representing a reduction of 99% and 80% respectively versus the iconic Fairway London Taxi. The next version of the TX4 is being developed in tandem with the company’s engine supplier VM Motori. It will be Euro 6-compliant, deliver further emissions reductions and will be available from 2015.


See also: Taxi fare will pay for itself, as delivery system streamlines with Thorworld

Full-scale production of black cabs will restart next week in Coventry, the Chinese firm Geely has said.

11 September 2013.

Taxi-maker London Taxi Company (LTC), which used to be known as LTI, went into administration in October 2012 and was bought by Geely six months ago.

Of the 176 employees at the Holyhead Road plant, 99 lost their jobs.

Geely has said it would try to re-employ as many former workers as possible.

For the past year, the remaining workforce of 77 has been repairing vehicles.

"Solid future"

Peter Johansen, vice president of Geely UK‘s black cab operation, said: "Customers are already responding to us being back in business.

"We’ve taken orders for 200 vehicles to Saudi Arabia and another 200 vehicles to Australia."

Li Shufu, chairman of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, said it had ambitious plans for the business and would build a "solid future" for the company.

In January the MP for Coventry South, Jim Cunningham, put down an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons calling for production of the London black cab to remain in the city.

Pete Coulson, from the union Unite, said: "There is a lot of excitement for the workforce in terms of what the future holds, and not just the workforce but the city as a whole.

"It’s good for the economy, good for the city and even more so for those who were made redundant and now get the opportunity to re-engage within the skills they already know."

More than 130,000 black taxis have been made at the site over the past 60 years.

Li Shufu: My dream is for people all over the world to be driving a Geely

Read more:

Iconic black cab maker saved.

Britain’s biggest union, has welcomed the news that Chinese manufacturer Zhejiang Geely Holding Group is to acquire London Taxi Company (LTI), the maker of the black cab.

Unite represents the LTI workers at Coventry and also represents over 1,000 London cab drivers. The union led a major campaign to save the black cab. London cabbies and the workers from Coventry led a campaign to keep production in Coventry and the black cab on the road.

Unite regional officer Peter Coulson said:

“Geely’s decision to buy the London Taxi Company and to keep production in Coventry is a testament to the skills of the workforce that build the iconic black cab.”Black cabs have been built in Coventry since 1948. Without the Coventry base the vehicle would have lost its unique character. Unite has been in constructive talks with Geely and we look forward to a strong working relationship in the future.”

Tony Burke Unite Assistant General Secretary told Cab Trade News:

“It’s encouraging that Geely has already begun talking constructively with Unite about the future. The black cab is part of Britain’s manufacturing heritage.  The workers from Coventry and London cabbies led a fantastic campaign to keep the black cab on the road. Their determination to campaign for a future made a major contribution to this positive result.”I want to take this opportunity to thank Unite members working in the London Cab trade for their superb support during the recent campaign to save London Black Cab manufacturing site at Manganese Bronze in Coventry.Our members in London responded magnificently in leafleting cab drivers and passengers, highlighting the need to save the iconic black cab.

Importantly our London cab drivers gave our members in Coventry unstinting support in lobbying the London Mayor’s office and enlisting his support to maintain manufacturing here in the UK.

The negotiations with Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) were lengthy and at times frustrating for our members in Coventry.  Once we had narrowed down the purchasers our members and Unite Regional Officer Peter Coulson put in tremendous work to ensure that the successful bidder was able to confirm that the black cab would continue to be made here in the UK.

The success of maintaining production in the UK has shown that with our members, from whatever sector of Unite working together, all things are possible.

We now set about the task of rebuilding the company at Coventry to produce the best taxi cab in the world, to the highest standards, made and manufactured in the UK by a skilled and dedicated workforce.

The black cab is part of Britain’s manufacturing heritage .

It is unthinkable that the historic black cab could be built anywhere else but in the UK. Unite, which represents workers at Manganese Bronze and also the black cab drivers, campaigned  to save the black cab and for it to continue to be built in Britain.

Save Our Black Cabs St Pancras

From the campaign

The sacked workers and cabbies leafleted black cabbies and passengers at Kings Cross, St Pancras, Heathrow and Liverpool city centre to raise awareness of the threat to the black cab and urge their support. The union has set up a facebook campaign page:  with a link to a petition and will be building public support for the campaign over the next month.

TONY BURKE, ASSISTANT GENERAL SECRETARY, UNITE" – At the moment we’re still campaigning very, very hard to ensure we keep the plight of our members at LTI in the public eye, but more importantly to maintain production of the iconic London black cab in the UK and to get our members their jobs back."

Unite Video / St Pancras Station

Peter Rose Unite Cab Section interviewed by ITV News

More coverage from ITV News

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