Shocking news! London’s famous black cabs are now Chinese – or at least, the company that makes them shortly will be.
Manganese Bronze, the company that makes the black cabs, plans to give the Chinese-based Geely Group a controlling interest by issuing new shares in return for a cash injection.
Making black cabs isn’t very profitable in the middle of a recession – the company made a £7m loss last year despite selling more than 1700 cabs. (Mind you, that was down from 1951 cabs sold the year before – taxi drivers are obviously doing exactly the same as many multinationals, and reducing their investment spending.)
Manganese Bronze has been cutting costs by having many of the components of the cars made in China, by Geely, and assembling the cabs in the Midlands. Apparently the real villain of the piece is German, though – Mercedes has been taking an increasing share of the taxi market and putting real pressure on MB.
Photo by Aurelius Valeisa on flickr