Iconic London cabs saved from extinction by Chinese firm Geely
London, Feb 2: Chinese car manufacturers Zhejiang Geely has secured the future of the London Taxi after it bought the vehicle's troubled maker Manganese Bronze, which was forced into administration last year.
The move by Geely has now safeguarded all 107 of the British jobs, which survived the administration process, as well as preserving manufacturing at Manganese's base in Coventry, the Telegraph reports.
Geely, which already owned around 20 percent of the company after initially investing in 2006, has bought the business and its assets for 11.04 million pounds through a newly established British subsidiary, Geely UK, the paper reported.
Li Shufu, chairman of Zhejiang Geely said despite its recent difficulties, they have long believed that the company and the Black Cab have huge potential.
Shufu added they have ambitious plans for the business and despite it being clear that there are a number of challenges to be overcome, they are committed to working with all stakeholders to build a solid future for the Black Cab business that will enable it to return to profitability in the short term and grow substantially in the longer term.
It brings to an end months of uncertainty after Manganese Bronze called in administrators at PricewaterhouseCoopers in October, following the recall of 400 taxis when a steering fault was detected, the paper added.
Manganese lacked the financial support to cope with the scale of the problem, and production and sales were halted, the paper said.
Donghui Daniel Li, chairman of Geely UK, said yesterday the company was committed to manufacturing in Coventry and that further jobs would be created once its manufacturing network was re-established.
Peter Johansen, who was finance director at Manganese Bronze, has been appointed executive vice president of Geely UK's Black Cab operations, the paper concluded.