Geely to invest $372m on new London Taxi facility
Updated: 2015-03-27 05:58
By ZHANG CHUNYAN in Coventry, UK(chinadaily.com.cn)
British Prime Minister David Cameron and The Mayor of London Boris Johnson visit the London Taxi Company in Coventry, United Kingdom on Mar 26.[Provided to China Daily]
Geely's commitment to the London Taxi Company marks the largest ever greenfield investment in the UK by a Chinese company and is being backed with funding from the UK government's regional growth fund and other UK and local government support.
The investment comes as the London Taxi Company continues the development of the next generation London Black Cab, which will be an ultra-low emissions vehicle to comply with new regulations being introduced by the Mayor of London that will reduce the level of emissions allowed from new taxis from January 2018.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "The production of zero emission capable vehicles, incorporating the latest state of the art technology, is essential as we strive to create the greenest taxi fleet in the world for London."
"I warmly welcome Geely's commitment to building this impressive new factory in Coventry, highlighting the UK's position as a world leader in the development and manufacturing of ultra low emission technologies. The vehicles this facility produces will help transform London's taxi fleet, boost jobs and growth in London and the West Midlands, and secure the long-term future of the taxi industry, whilst ensuring everyone who lives, work in or visits our city has the cleanest possible air to breathe," Johnson said.
The new vehicle will be developed using significantly increased UK and EU content, bringing economic benefits through the supply chain. It will be launched in the UK at the end of 2017 and across international markets in 2018.
The investment underlines Geely's commitment to London Taxi Company and the UK following its rescue of the business out of administration in 2013, since which time the company has invested significantly to restart production and fund the development of the successor to the existing TX4 taxi.
Production of the iconic London Black Cab began at the London Taxi Company's existing Coventry site in 1948 since when more than 130,000 vehicles have rolled off the assembly lines.
Kevin Sui contributed to this story