'Iconic' Black Cabs may soon be history in UK
The iconic British 'Black Cab' might soon be history in the UK after the factory that makes the London taxis has reportedly gone bankrupt.
Scattered tools and wrenches bear witness to half-finished jobs, which simply stopped on the afternoon of October 30, when the Coventry factory of London Taxi Company went into administration.
"It feels a bit like the Marie Celeste. But I only need to press one button and it could all get going again in an instant," the Daily Mail quoted Stephen Fitter, production manager for the London Taxi Company, as saying.
According to the paper, the company has shed half of the 300-strong workforce since going into administration following a series of financial and technical problems.
In 2008, a technical fault affecting thousands of cabs was coupled with the credit crunch, while more recently, a new IT system mislaid several million pounds of company money. Finally, in October, a fault appeared in a new Chinese-built steering component, and more than 500 new cabs had to be impounded while another 455, already in service, had to be recalled, the paper said.
Unlike the average car plant, LTC does not have a single robotic machine, and all its vehicles are assembled manually by a team of highly-trained technicians. Therefore, when the money ran out in October, administrators PwC were called in to salvage what they could, the paper added.
In due course, they are now hoping to find a new buyer. But their priority has been to find a swift solution to the steering problem, secure new funding and then repair every cab with the faulty part. That process, now well under way, will be finished by mid-December, the paper concluded.