London black cab maker Manganese Bronze calls in the administrators

14:51 22 October 2012

The makers of the famous London taxis have gone into administration. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

The makers of the famous London taxis have gone into administration. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

The maker of the distinctive London taxi is to appoint administrators after it failed to secure a funding boost from one of its largest shareholders.

Coventry-based Manganese Bronze was reportedly in talks with Chinese private automaker Geely, which owns a 20% stake in the firm, over a £15 million loan.

But the group, which recently recalled 500 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, which employs nearly 300 staff and traces its roots to the 19th century as a maker of ship propellers, recently reported wider half-year losses of £3.6 million.

Earlier this month, Manganese Bronze said it had discovered a defect with new steering boxes in its TX4 models, which were introduced in production at its Coventry factory in late February.

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 today, 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, such as Eco City vehicles.

The group’s London Taxi Company division makes about 2,700 cabs a year and has produced more than 100,000 since it started in 1948. Its newest model, the TX4, was launched in October 2006.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
2 3 4 5 6

Latest business news

Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Aerial view of proposed Rotherhithe Bridge [image: reForm Architects]

Plans to build a new bridge across the Thames between Canary Wharf and Rotherhithe on either side have reached completion in a new feasibility study.

The proposed ‘Rotherhithe Bridge’ would have the longest bascule span in the world, at 600ft (184m), for use by pedestrians and cyclists.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Williams Butchers in Balgores Lane, Gidea Park,  has won the London and South East traditional sausage award as part of British Sausage Week

It’s official, the best sausages in London and the South East comes from an east London butchers – using a secret recipe from 1931.

Friday, October 30, 2015
Customers say Barclays systems are down (Picture: PA Images)

Barclays said it is ‘investigating urgently’ after customers were unable to access online banking, take cash out or buy things in stores for hours on Friday afternoon.

Friday, October 16, 2015
A high court decision is set to have a big impact on the future of Uber in London (Picture: PA Images)

The High Court has ruled that smartphone apps like Uber are not taximeters - meaning that the tech company has not broken rules that say only licenced black cabs can use such devices.

Monday, October 5, 2015
The scene at today's protest (Photo: Garry Stephen White)

A protest by black cab drivers has again caused gridlock in London as cabbies take to the streets in their long-running battle with Transport for London over the way private hire vehicles, including Uber, are regulated.

Friday, October 2, 2015
We tested the system by entering fictitious details

It has been revealed that Uber’s petition to TfL contains fake signatures, with social media users signing up as ‘Mickey Mouse’ and other fictional alter egos.


Nike Trainers

Nike’s motto is ‘to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.’ With this in mind it’s no surprise why Nike is the preferred training gear for most A-list athletes. Get an extra boost in your run or height in your jump with £500 to spend on Nike trainers.

Read more
MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!

Read more

London Bloggers

Saturday, September 26, 2015
Vintage Salt

Vintage Salt, in Liverpool Street, is wonderfully atmospheric, like stepping back into a dining room at a period seaside resort.

Friday, September 25, 2015
Pickled sardines

On a dreary main road where high rise flats line the horizon Rootdown restaurant stands next to a busy roundabout.