The Administrators of Manganese Bronze – PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) – have confirmed that Geely has successfully purchased the assets of the London Taxi company for £11.04m.
The headline figure (equivalent to 345 new TX4 Style models) includes the Coventry-based factory, London’s Mann and Overton dealership together with satellite sites in Manchester and Edinburgh. The other assets which have been included in the purchase are the existing vehicle stock (new and used), goodwill and remaining stock of parts.
However, Geely has not purchased the remaining 80.1% of shares in Manganese Bronze. These shares are part of the administration process: Geely has simply tendered for what it wanted. Indeed, Geely is still the largest creditor. In a statement to press, Daniel Li, the Chairman of Geely UK, confirmed his company planned to use the Manganeze Bronze operation as Geely’s base for a European onslaught.
‘A solid foundation, not only for its location but also the Dealer Network,’ he said.
Quite whether this will lead to additional vehicle production in Coventry is unclear – the site there might just be a convenient oriental import’s PDI facility. The good news is that the current 107 employees will transfer to the new subsidiary, with existing MBH Group Finance Officer Peter Johansen becoming Executive Vice-President of Geely UK.
With production of the TX4 to resume shortly, Roger Maddison of the Unite trades union added: ‘They have plans for the future, let’s hope it’s another Jaguar Land Rover – with plenty of investment, we can have a real success story here in Coventry’.
London Mayor Boris Johnson remarked: “I am delighted that Geely has successfully secured the future of the London taxi company, ensuring the continuing manufacture of world famous, fully accessible and instantly recognizable vehicle synonymous with London,”. Geely confirmed rumours of a new compact Taxi. the ‘TXN’, possibly hitting the road as early as 2017.
Sadly, following Friday’s announcement, the final British-owned remnant of the once mighty British Leyland conglomerate now transfers abroad…