The London Taxi is heading down under, thanks to a deal struck with the authorities in Perth, Western Australia. A test sample of 98 used white factory demonstrator ‘hot-climate’ TX4s have been shipped to Australia as part of a trial to test the iconic vehicle there with a view to a further 200 being shipped out in 2014.
The cabs, which form the first large export order for the recently renamed London Taxi Company, will be taking to the streets in Perth within the next few weeks. The fleet will perform vital hot weather testing for the Coventry-based company, which is now fully-owned by the Chinese car company Geely and which saw production restart recently, as well as alleviate the current shortage of cabs in Perth.
One Perth operator who purchased a fleet of the 50 bright, white used TX4s has already had a stampede of drivers who want to be the first ones to buy a cab and partake in the trial
The Chief Executive of The London Taxi Company (Aust.) Limited, Evan Simeon has confirmed that there is much interest in the vehicles. ‘We couldn’t have asked for a better welcome.’ he said. ‘One Perth operator who purchased a fleet of the 50 bright, used white TX4s has already had a stampede of drivers who want to be the first ones to buy a cab and partake in the trial.’
With the additional Australian order for 200 new vehicles Evan also confirmed that the State of Victoria may well be the next destination to welcome the global icon in 2014.
‘When you have a look at the majority of current existing taxis, they are converted sedans which were not built to be cabs and therefore they are simply not fit for the purpose. The beauty of the London Taxi TX4 is that it is the only global vehicle built to be as a cab, so we anticipate that they will be a lot of demand for it across Australia,’ Evan added.
Western Australian Government Transport Minister, Troy Buswell, said the trial was part of his Taxi Action Plan, which aimed to improve the security, standards and availability of Perth taxis, and that the purpose-built taxis were designed and manufactured specifically to improve safety, comfort and accessibility.