Shanghai Englon TX4 - The London Taxi
China hails black cab agreement
The iconic cab could be a regular sight in Chinese cities by 2008
One of the biggest manufacturers of the iconic London black cab has signed a £53m joint-venture agreement to build the car in China.
Manganese Bronze's proposed new plant in Shanghai will be able to make up to 20,000 taxis a year.
The vehicles are earmarked for China and other emerging car markets.
The firm will retain its London Taxis International plant in Coventry, which has made more than 100,000 black cabs since production began in 1948.
A legally-binding agreement between Manganese Bronze and Chinese carmaker Zhejiang Geely is expected to be signed in the next few weeks.
"The London black taxi is an iconic vehicle" - Li Shufu, Zhejiang Geely chairman
The UK firm will invest £19.85m as its share of the venture and will have the rights to sell the cars to markets outside of Asia.
Finance director Mark Fryer said that the deal, when finalised, would "increase the appeal of our iconic vehicle around the world".
"There are more than one million vehicles used as taxis in China, and the London taxi will add to the choice available to the Chinese consumer," Mr Fryer said.
"Big cities such as Beijing and Shanghai offer major opportunities but Geely has more than 1,000 dealerships across China so it's a truly nationwide prospect."
As well operating as regular taxis, the vehicles will be sold as limousines to hotels and to wealthy private owners.
Last year Manganese sold 2,412 black cabs, with price tags between £22,000 and £30,000.
The high cost of vehicles as well as export fees have made overseas growth difficult.
Mr Fryer said that some of the parts bought by the joint venture may be shipped to the UK making the operation at Coventry "even more viable".
"There will be no redundancies as a result of this," he said. "If anything we will be recruiting people to support the joint venture."
Zhejiang Geely, which began making cars in 1996, has seen car demand grow by 50% in the last six months and its chairman Li Shufu welcomed the proposed deal.
"The London black taxi is an iconic vehicle and we believe that the joint venture can create significant value for shareholders of both sides," he said.
"We look forward to a significant export opportunity and we are confident that the joint venture will be a success."
Hong Kong already has London taxis which were made elsewhere and shipped to the territory.
great deal for geely, for a year or so, chinese automakers need to make deals like this, and then can move to the giant deals...hope this deal gets confirmed
Hmm, those taxis are ugly and hardly high tech; is it really a good idea??? Anyone can probably come up with a better design, even Geely.
no not even geely :P
I dunno where they learned to design , or what do they teach thier car designers !
I have nothing against them but they are just too ugly for my taste . even the latest FC also looks wierd .
Chery is doing a great job on the otherhand .
they have a classic look, and they are supposed to, thats the old british feel
if ugly = money, so be it :)
Geely's multiple challenges
Back in the summer of 2002 China Daily reported that Brilliance Auto would start to produce "Grace-brand" (London) taxi cabs in cooperation with Manganese Bronze Holdings at the end of the year, but the deal fell through. Hope that Geely can make a better go of it.
Also hope that Geely is not spreading itself too thin, and can macro-manage all the projects that it now has on its plate. It's juggling a lot of balls, what with the ongoing project in Hong Kong to build the 3.0Liter GH-1, a new plant planned for Gansu Province in the north (far from home), and talk of an assembly plant for the U.S..
I wonder which of these models it will produce. The classic or the more aero one?
goin to pakistan ..
London's black cabs en route to streets of Pakistan
By Tosin Sulaiman
MANGANESE BRONZE is in talks that could lead to traditional London taxis rolling along the streets of Pakistan by the end of the year.
The maker of black cabs confirmed that it would be ready to start shipping its cabs to Pakistan within months after a series of talks with Prime Transport, a listed Karachi-based company. The vehicles are manufactured by a Manganese Bronze subsidiary, London Taxis International, which became the largest UK-owned carmaker after the demise of MG Rover last year.
Pakistan’s Government has given Prime Transport permission to import the first 300 taxis duty-free, Dawood Khan, its chief executive, told The Times. The company also wants to start building an assembly plant on a 300-acre site in Karachi in January and plans to produce up to 4,000 black cabs in Pakistan each year.
“We are very anxious to get this started,” he said. “We want to begin operation in December. That means we will be importing the complete built-up taxis from the UK.
“Early next year we should start building the assembly line in Karachi. We anticipate that we will be producing around 3,500 to 4,000 vehicles a year in Pakistan for the Pakistani market.”
The cabs, which Prime Transport plans to sell to taxi firms rather than individuals, initially will operate in Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore, Mr Khan said. They will carry passengers to and from Pakistan’s leading international airports, where parking spaces and booking offices have been provided for them.
A spokesman for Manganese Bronze confirmed that the company was in talks with Prime Transport and had received an order for 300 taxis.
“Prime Transport continues to talk to Manganese Bronze and remains keen to do a deal. Manganese Bronze would be delighted to export taxis to Pakistan,” he said, adding that this could take place by the end of the year.
However, the spokesman said that Manganese would direct most of its efforts towards China after signing a £53 million deal this month with Zhejiang Geely, the Chinese car manufacturer, to produce 20,000 taxis a year for the Asian market.
“The focus of attention is very much on China right now,” he said.
Investors will be looking for further signs of recovery at Manganese Bronze when its full-year results are published on Wednesday. A consensus of analysts is predicting pre-tax profits to come in at £2.5 million, compared with £2.3 million last year.
There are about 21,000 black cabs in London made by Manganese and thousands more across the UK, as well as small numbers around the rest of the world, in countries such as the United States, Spain and South Africa.
Last year, Manganese sold 2,412 black cabs, with prices ranging between £22,000 and £30,000, although special edition cars can sell for much more.
RANK AND FILE
93 per cent of London’s black cabs are manufactured by Manganese Bronze
Its closest rival is Metrocab, in Tamworth
Manganese Bronze makes 2,500 taxis in Coventry each year
Since 1948 the company has produced 100,000 black cabs
About 90 per cent of sales are in the UK
Manganese has exported cabs to South Africa, Nigeria, Canada, Germany and America
Geely will release new brand
"Geely will be on the basis of joint ventures in copper and manganese launched its own brand of a luxury car in China -- England Dili.On this basis, Geely will be realized in the future integration of technology digestion manganese and copper models based on the localization of production.England Dili China will be defined as the top luxury car brand.According to Geely currently envisaged, the appearance of the Rolls Royce brand models are smaller than the current No. 1Currently, the whole body and a series of high-end Mercedes and BMW models similar,However, the overall design of the models currently in production will emulate some of the surfactant,cab and the passenger room is complete separation along the back super storage space."
Who can explain what's going on ?
hmm cant be happening..its just stupid to rebrand itself before it can even stand on its own 2 feet in china alone..
it also owns shanghai maple....they have way too much on their plate and geely just cant seem to do anything but keeps goaling to do everything!!:confused:
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