Wheels24

Black-cab builder flags trouble

2012-10-23 08:06

LONDON, England - The maker of London's famous black cabs said it was going into administration after failing to secure funding from one of its largest shareholders.

Manganese Bronze's rounded, purpose-built cabs are recognised the world over but the company has been losing money for years. The automaker has been hit by Britain's economic downturn and faces stiff rivalry from the likes of the Mercedes-Benz Vito.

ICONIC BRITISH CAB

Manganese Bronze launched its latest model, the TX4, in 2006 but a steering defect forced a recall, damaging the company's reputation and adding to its financial woes. Chinese automaker Geely owns 20%.

Manganese said in a statement that a "speedy resolution" of the product recall remained a top priority for the group, which would continue to operate throughout the administration process.

Roger Maddison, national officer for the car industry at Britain's Unite union, called for government intervention, saying that the black cab was "part of Britain's car manufacturing heritage".

The firm employs 300 people in Coventry, centrall England, and has been making taxi cabs since 1948.