August 19, 2009
Eldan Ltd., a leading car rental firm in Israel, has signed an exclusive deal with Britain's taxi manufacturer LTI Vehicles Ltd. to import and market London taxi models built by China's Geely Auto, Israel's business portal Globes (online) reported today.
Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. makes the "London taxi" under license in Shanghai for markets outside the UK. LTI manufactures the taxis for the British market at its plant in Coventry.
Eldan will market the LTI's newest TX4 model of the black cab, which includes several improvements in the suspension, safety equipment, and in the passenger compartment. The taxi can carry six passengers and has an installation for a wheelchair.
The Israeli company said it is also in talks with another Chinese carmaker to import its cars. Eldan, owned by Joseph Dahan and run by CEO Dan Shavit, is Israel's second largest car rental and leasing company. The Chinese made "London taxis" will be the first directly imported cars for its fleet.
The London cab built by Geely was released to the Chinese market on June 8 this year, under a new name "Shanghai Englon TX4," with a price tag of up to 228,000 yuan ($33,820) for private, or taxi buyers. Britain's LTI looks to its Chinese venture to boost sales of the renowned London taxi.