Black cabs on the edge

Time 7:21 am, October 23, 2012

THE troubled maker of the distinctive London taxi is to appoint administrators.

Coventry-based Manganese Bronze was reportedly in talks with its Chinese partner Geely over a £15m loan.

But the group, which recently recalled 400 black cabs due to a steering box fault, said it had been unable to secure funding with various parties and will bring in administrators.

Manganese recently reported a half-year operating loss of £3.1m.

And earlier this month, the company said it had discovered a defect with new steering boxes in its TX4 models, which were introduced in production at its Coventry factory earlier this year.

Manganese said it discovered the fault after two cab drivers reported problems with steering, but stressed there had been no crashes or injuries as a result.

It warned that the recall and sales suspension would have a ‘material and detrimental’ impact on its cashflow and said it was looking at options for the firm.

The group is urgently contacting drivers of the 400 affected vehicles to make sure they are taken off the road.

In its statement, Manganese added that a ‘speedy resolution’ of the product recall remained a top priority for the group, which will continue throughout the administration process.

It said it ‘remains hopeful that the fundamental strengths of the company, the TX4 model and its global reputation will provide the platform for a successful business in the future’.

Manganese has been loss-making for the past four years as its London Taxi arm has been hit by a consumer spending slowdown and increased rivalry from competitors.

Roger Maddison, national officer for the car industry at the union Unite, said: ‘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 of this company.’

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

More stories...

Server 51