In October of 2012 it was reported that the company that manufactures the iconic London black taxis – Manganese Bronze – went into administration. The company faced a difficult year where due to the fact that they failed to invest in their taxis they struggled to generate sales, cash, and turnover. To make matters worse the iconic black cabs started to pale into comparison with other modern makes such as the Mercedes Vito taxi, and also had to recall their newest TX4 models due to steering box failures which led to the steering to jam.
It was worried that due to the fact that the company was going into the administration the whole landscape of London would change, and an important part of London culture would be lost. However it has been reported by the Chinese press that the company Geely – who bought twenty per cent of Manganese Bronze’s shares whilst it was struggling – will buy the remaining shares and completely take over the company.
It is not completely clear yet whether Geely will continue to manufacture the iconic taxis, with some thinking that Geely is more interested in finding a quick and easy way to enter the UK car market with their own brand of vehicles. It is no secret that Geely wanted to enter the UK car market last year with their Emgrand range of vehicles, and were planning on using Manganese Bronze to establish a dealer network and provide after-sales. They were also planning on creating thirty to forty dealerships which they would manage together and handle the sales of the Emgrand 7.
For those that own black taxis all is not lost however, especially due to the fact that they have such an iconic style that will always be popular with the British public. By keeping your vehicle in good condition, making sure it is covered by taxi insurance, and keeping on top of repairs, your black cab could last for a long period of time, and could even increase in value in the future if they become rarer.