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London taxi maker in crisis bailout talks
Shares in London taxi maker Manganese Bronze have been suspended following the emergency recall of 400 TX4 black cabs to fix a steering fault that has left its financial position ‘unclear’.
The crisis at the maker of London’s famous black cab has forced executives from Chinese car making giant Geely to fly into London for possible bailout talks: Geely owns 20% of Manganese Bronze.
The Sunday Times yesterday reported the Coventry-based firm has ‘no foreseeable income stream’: on top of the recall, sales have also been suspended while the fault is fixed.
In recent weeks, the company has also revealed a black hole in its accounts of around £4m and has not posted a profit since 2007. Last year, it sold 1,502 taxis, a fall of 9%. It employs 180 people at its Coventry HQ.
The steering fault is related to a new component sourced from a new Chinese supplier and installed from earlier this year. The firm says it will seek compensation from the supplier.
The recall is another blow to the iconic firm, which has been building cabs since 1948. Earlier this year, Nissan revealed its own ‘black cab’ with a diesel engine that’s 50% greener than the LTI TX4 black cab.
The Nissan black cab emits 139g/km CO2; even the greenest LTI cab emits a heady 209g/km.
The firm says it is working on a rapid fix for the latest safety fault: as it is a safety issue, cabbies may not be able to work until it is repaired…
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