London’s Iconic Cabs Hit China

| June 24th, 2009

the-london-taxi-voted-the-most-iconic-vehicle-in-britainFrom Reuters: New York city has yellow cabs, London has black cabs and soon China will also have black cabs. In a joint venture with a Chinese company, London’s black cabs will soon be out on Chinese streets.[pro-player width=’500′ height=’400′ type=’video’]http://www.chinahush.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/video.mp4[/pro-player]

London’s iconic black cabs may soon become a common sight on the streets of China.

So far, only 30 of the bulky taxis run the roads of the nation’s capital,where the models in contrast with the London original sport a yellow flash along a white body.

But Chinese car maker Geely and its British partner Manganese Bronze hope to change that by putting 1,000 of the TX4 model Londoncabs in Chinese cities by the end of this year.

[Liu Jinliang, Geely Group]:
“The initial cost to purchase this vehicle would be higher than normal taxis. It would also cost more in terms of fuel usage and operational costs. But we will try our best to reduce the amount of time that the taxi would be empty.”

Geely’s version of the London taxis are made in a province outside Shanghai and are available in 12 colours.

Geely aims to boost sales to 5,000 units annually in three years and will target wealthy businessmen for the autos priced between 29,000 and 33,000 dollars, about a third of the UK-made model.

The company hopes to carve out a brand name for itself with this venture, while Geely is known in China for making budget cars.

Local Chinese passengers say they appreciate the extra space without the additional charge.

[Qi Zhegong, Tourist]:
“The legal seating allowance is higher, so it suits a party of lots of people going out together, especially young people, who always pile into one car.”

Analysts see the partnership as win-win, as it provides Geely a chance to break into Europe and the U.S., while the company already exports to over 50 countries, mostly in the developing world.

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