China takes control of production for London’s black cabs

LONDON black cab production is to transfer to China – moving away from Britain for the first time.

Bodies and chassis for the latest TX4 model will only be assembled at manufacturer Manganese Bronze’s Coventry plant after being imported from China.

Sixty jobs at the plant will be lost as a result of the switch in production.

Manganese Bronze also announced underlying pre-tax losses of £8.1m for 2009 compared with a loss of £6.2m in 2008.

The company sold 1,724 cabs last year, down from 1,951 in 2008, and had to offer discounts amounting to five per cent of total sales.

It also said it was mulling offering partner Geely Group, the Chinese carmaker, more shares in the company.

Chief executive John Russell said: “An equity placing to Geely will enhance the group’s capital base and see the potential for the group to expand into assembly and distribution of Geely vehicles.”