China Watch : Geely exports London Taxi kits to the UK

Automotive News China, 2nd September, 2010

SHANGHAI – Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. has started shipping kits of the TX4 London Taxi, a model developed by Manganese Bronze Holdings plc (MBH), to London for assembly.

Each month Geely will provide kits for 160 TX4 taxis to be assembled and sold in the United Kingdom, Geely said in a statement. The company made its first shipment at the end of August.

Manganese Bronze builds the black London cab in Coventry, England. In 2007, Geely acquired a 20 percent stake in Manganese Bronze and also set up a 49-51 joint venture in Shanghai with its British partner.

The joint venture, Shanghai LTI Automobile Components Co., started mass production of London Taxis in the third quarter of 2009.

This year sales of the TX4 have been sluggish. In the first six months, only 60 TX4 taxis were sold in China. In the United Kingdom, sales of London taxis – including the TX4 – declined nearly 12 percent to 915 units, according to Geely.

In August, Geely said it would not increase its stake in Manganese Bronze.

[Source: Automotive News China]

Clive Goldthorp

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