Black cabs under threat?

Coventry-based manufacturer Manganese Bronze, makers of London’s famous black cabs, are under threat of going out of business.

The announcement follows news that MB have failed to secure a £15 million loan from Chinese backers, Geely. The failure to secure further investment means the Midlands-based company are set to appoint administrators and faces an uncertain future. Manganese employs almost 300 staff in its London Taxi Company division. Earlier this month, the group recalled 400 of its TX4 black cabs due to a steering box fault. There have been no crashes or injuries as a result.

Manganese, who has made over 100,000 Black Cabs since 1948, recently reported group-wide half-year losses of £3.6 million. As well as its Coventry manufacturing facility, the company’s taxi division has six wholly-owned retail sites and 60 UK service dealers.

On the current situation, Manganese boss John Russell commented:

“We’re focused on making sure that doesn’t happen (going under). Clearly we’re in a very uncertain situation and until we get more accurate analysis we can’t answer that question.”

The company have come under increased pressure of late, as Eco City vehicles look to take some of their market share while Nissan, reported here at VCARS.co.uk, have also mentioned entering the UK cab market.

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