British icon goes to China
A British icon, the London taxi, is going to China. Geely South Africa’s parent company, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Company, which owns London taxi maker Manganese Bronze Holding, has restarted production. This will help to supply 500 units of the London Taxi TX4 model to China.
Production began towards the end of September; seven months after Geely rescued Manganese Bronze from administration. The first batch of 50 London Taxi TX4s were delivered to Nanjing in east China during the same month.
In February, Geely acquired the remaining 80 percent stake in Manganese Bronze for R171,6 million to ensure continuous production and sales of the iconic London taxi. Prior to the deal, Geely owned a 20 percent stake in the British company.
Geely, which plans to invest R2,4 billion in the London taxi company over the next five years, says it resumed production following “significant improvements” at the company’s British manufacturing plant.
However, the London Taxi TX4s sold in China are built at Geely’s plant in suburban Shanghai, with the units now also being assembled in Coventry, England. The private Chinese automaker plans to develop new models to follow the current TX4.
Unfortunately, Geely South Africa has no plans to launch the iconic London taxi in this country.