The London Taxi Company has restarted production of the TX4 black cab at its manufacturing facilities in Coventry, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) announced today.
LTC was rescued from the administrators in February 2013 by Chinese automobile enterprise, Geely Group of China. Following a GBP150m five-year investment plan from its new owners, LTC has made significant improvements to its Coventry plant and created 66 additional engineering and technical jobs, increasing the company’s total workforce to 170.
The production line is expected to be capable of building ten new TX4’s a day. These iconic vehicles will have additional quality improvements and will be most advanced London taxi so far. LTC forecasts that it will sell about 2,000 vehicles in the first year, with the first month’s production having already been sold. The company already has export contracts with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, where at least half the taxis are destined to be sent.
Geely Group and LTC plan to develop new models with an improved energy efficiency and environmental footprint of the traditional London cab. In addition, an investment is being considered in additional production facilities across the UK.
Business Secretary Vince Cable and chairman of Geely Group, Li Shufu, were present at the official relaunch of production.
Chairman Li commented: “Today is a milestone in the history of The London Taxi Company, adding that we are pleased to have created dozens of new jobs and have already begun work on the planning and design of the next generation of this iconic vehicle.”
Business Secretary, Vince Cable MP said: “After a period of worry and uncertainty for the workforce, Geely Group’s investment has secured the future of the iconic black cab company, protecting highly-skilled jobs in the Midlands and ensuring that London cabs continue to be made here in Britain. It is also a clear demonstration of the success of the British car industry, which has gone from strength to strength even during tough economic times.”