Manganese Bronze the firm that makes London’s black cabs has called in administrators after suffering a cash crisis. Bosses at Manganese threw in the towel over failing to raise £15million of emergency cash from one of its largest shareholders, Chinese manufacturer Geely.
The group’s London Taxi Company division makes about 2,700 cabs a year and has produced more than 100,000 since it started in 1948. The newest model the TX4 was launched in October 2006.
Roger Maddison, national officer for the car industry at the union Unite, said Manganese Bronze is the last car manufacturer left in Coventry. He said “if it becomes necessary the Government should step in to support the company and protect the highly skilled workforce.” He added “the London taxi is iconic and the staff who build them are highly skilled. The black cab is part of Britain’s car manufacturing heritage and we expect the company and the administrators to do everything possible to secure the future for this Coventry-based company.”
The London Taxi Company employs 300 people across its Coventry manufacturing facility and a network of six wholly owned retail sites. Parent company Manganese issued a profit warning in January which revealed it had made no profit in 2011 and would struggle to match market expectations in 2012. Production of the iconic taxis has been halted and the 300 workers at the firm’s Coventry factory face an uncertain future.
By Geraldine Ashton Green
Mon, 29 Oct 2012