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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.

'Increase appeal'

"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.

Chinese optimism

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.

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481 Posts
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 .

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Geely's multiple challenges

m14 said:
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 on October 5 said that this agreement has been signed.

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?


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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.


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,,9067-2405471,00.html

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Geely will release new brand

Google translation:

"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 ?

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249 Posts
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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After a failed (or aborted) attempt by Brilliance Auto in 2002, Geely has reached an agreement with the British Manganese Bronze Holdings to produce the famous London black taxicab in China. Production is to begin in mid 2008 and capacity will be about 20,000 a year to start.

Is Geely spreading itself too thin these days?


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325 Posts
Dragin is correct - Geely will make the London cabs in the future, England di li is referring to the Chinese name Ying = first part of england Lun = first part of london di = ruler/monarch/emperor hua = can mean china/chinese or magnificent or flourishing.

That Google translator is doing everything word for word and the grammar is pretty much straight word for word too.

Theres a better article here

Although I have wrote about this before on China car times, see my sig. ;)

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297 Posts
Geely to sell London taxis in China, Hong Kong

Ambitious Geely, which makes no secret of its eventual plans to expand globally using some of its home country's cheapest-made cars, may start exports with Hong Kong -- bringing a common London sight to the former British colony more than a decade after it reverted to Chinese rule.

"We estimate the production cost can be lowered at least by half," Geely Executive Director Lawrence Ang told reporters on Monday after showing the firms' newest London cab to pre-selected Hong Kong taxi drivers.

Prices had not been finalised but Ang said U.K.-made models sold at nearly 40,000 pounds ($79,350). Geely and Manganese have set up a joint venture in Shanghai that can crank out 10,000 of the cabs a year in about a dozen colours apart from the familiar black, tailored to specific markets and customer demand, and another 30,000 intended for private limousine or sedan use.

It will eventually serve as a global base for production and export to Southeast Asia and, eventually, other regions.

Manganese's U.K. production arm, London Taxi International Plc (LTI), will also benefit in terms of securing cheap Chinese parts, said Matthew Cheyne, LTI's international marketing director.

""From the U.K. point of view, the benefit is we got cost of production saving of 50 percent, 40 percent, whatever it is, sourcing cheap parts in China and that's enough for our benefit," he said.

LTI sold about 2,850 taxis in the United Kingdom last year and exported a very small number of the cabs to overseas markets, such as South Africa, France and Germany.

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Geely made London Taxi's coming to Detroit Auto Show and US market fro sale

Among the cars that Geely will be bringing to the Detroit Auto Show this year is the London Taxi, which as its name suggests is their version of the recognizable black English cab. The Chinese automaker has made a deal with the largest British maker of these cabs (Manganese Bronze Holdings) to produce the classy black boxes in Shanghai on-the-cheap and then hopefully bring them to the US for sale by 2010.


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ok I don't understand it. Geely's sale in China is not even robust and why they are always talking about hitting Europe or America, I mean if they cannot even win the heart and the trust of Chinese consumers then I don't know what they are thinking about Western consumers.

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London black cab to regain glory through "made-in-China"

April 28, 2008 - The London black cab, regarded as one of the capital city's icons, is to regain its glory through a joint program with a Chinese car manufacturer in Shanghai, where the first London black cab is expected to roll out in about six weeks.

Manganese Bronze, the former sole owner of the London black cab and now a shareholder with Chinese car manufacturer Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. in their joint venture -- Shanghai LTI Automobile Ltd., said that the new "made-in-China" model, will enable China to leapfrog with greener cabs of international reputation and enliven the London cab which was hard-hit by high costs.

"We are waiting with great excitement to see the London black cab rolling off the Shanghai production line," said Mark Fryer, Manganese's group finance and business development director.

Through the Shanghai production line, the "iconic black cab" history which seemed to come to an end for the high costs, will goon, in a much larger scale, said Fryer.

Manganese Bronze could greatly lower the cost of production when outsourcing its parts as a result of the cooperation with China's Geely, as its enlarged scale will enable them to approach bigger manufacturers with better quality parts, he said.

The first-ever black cab left the company's Coventry factory in1948, and since then, more than 100,000 vehicles have rolled off the production line in the automobile base city of Coventry.

But black cab production fell on hard times at the turn of the century when 70 percent of its parts had to be imported from continental Europe, driving up costs to an unaffordable level.

The cost of producing a TX4 black cab, Fryer said, runs at about 21,000 to 28,000 pounds, but that will be halved, once shifted to China, while at the same time retaining quality.

While continuing its Coventry production with parts imported from China, expectedly 100 percent from China by 2009, Fryer said that Manganese Bronze will do its best to promote sales of the London cab.

"We have pre-sold 500 of the Shanghai produced cabs," the Manganese Bronze director said, adding that he is planning to sell10,000 next year mainly in the U.S. market.

According to the joint venture plan, the Shanghai plant will have the capacity of turning out 40,000 vehicles every year.

Despite Manganese Bronze hosts warning them not to be surprised when they see an old and largely hand-made assembly line in the Coventry factory, many Chinese visitors still come back with a big question mark on their mind -- "is this the famous London black cab home?" Liu Hui, a London-based Chinese who had an on-the-spot tour, said.

The condition of the assembly line in Coventry was as good as it was almost half a century ago, Liu and his colleagues were told before their tour in the factory, but they were still surprised by what they saw.

Mike Brown, the operation director at Manganese Bronze Coventry headquarters, said that the factory in Coventry, still the center of auto industry in Britain, is about 29,000 square meters, but the Shanghai factory is at least twice the size.

Manganese Bronze agreed with Chinese car manufacturer Geely to hold equity in a joint venture company, Shanghai LTI Automobile Ltd, to produce four different vehicles: the iconic London Taxi, a limousine variant of the London Taxi and two additional large saloon cars.

The joint venture, with a total investment of about 53 million pounds(106 million U.S. dollars), is funded from shareholders' equity of 29 million pounds and bank loans of 24 million pounds.

LTI, a wholly owned subsidiary of Manganese Bronze, will utilize the skills of its Coventry business to support the establishment of manufacturing in Shanghai, support quality initiatives in Shanghai LTI and sales in the world market.
source: Xinhua
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