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China production move for black cab

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China production move for black cab

Post by Admin on Wed 17 Mar 2010 - 12:29, Updated: 17/03/2010 12:06
China production move for black cab

Manganese Bronze is moving production of the iconic London cab parts to China

Production of the body panels and chassis for the iconic London cab will be shifted to China in a move costing 60 jobs, it has been announced.

Manganese Bronze said the parts for its TX4 vehicles will be made in Shanghai after a key UK supplier's decision to cease production of a specialist painting process later this year.

Manganese's Coventry-based London Taxis International arm has manufactured the cabs since 1948, but it will now move to an assembly role.

Chief executive John Russell said: "Our UK consultation process is almost complete, which will lead to a smaller, lower-cost UK operation with a much greater level of supply from China."

The firm said its UK sales performance "continued to be adversely affected by current economic conditions", with the London market hardest hit.

"UK sales performance continues to be challenging as drivers' confidence to commit themselves to the purchase of a new taxi remains weak due to uncertainty about the general state of the economy," it said.

Manganese's underlying pre-tax losses widened to 8.1 million last year from 6.2 million in 2008, with UK vehicle sales falling from 1,951 to 1,724.

Volumes in the second half of the year were below the first half despite the impact of the Government's scrappage scheme, while the group has also racked up additional costs from the fall in the value of the pound.

The company, which has 300 staff, imports the engines for its cabs from Italy and incurred an extra 1,000 in costs last year due to the strength of the euro.

Mr Russell said: "Because we are very much a British brand, and that was of immense value to our customers, it seemed the best option to maintain a smaller manufacturing presence in Coventry."

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