The London Taxi Company announced that it will invest £250 million to build a state-of-the-art new research, assembly and development facility for its next generation of ultra low emission taxis.
This investment, from owner Geely, will create up to 1,000 new jobs in Coventry, including the introduction of an apprenticeship scheme, to prepare for the introduction of new electrification technology.
The new facility will see production ramp up to 36,000 vehicles a year by 2018, a ten-fold increase on the company’s current capacity. The London Taxi Company also announced that these new vehicles, which start production in 2017, will be manufactured using a significantly increased proportion of components from the UK and European supply chain.
Prime Minister David Cameron said, “Geely’s £250 million investment and the creation of up to 1,000 jobs is great news for Coventry and a vote of confidence in our long-term economic plan to back business, create jobs and secure the recovery. It means that more hardworking people will have the financial security that a job and regular pay-packet bring and demonstrates that the UK is open for business. The London Black Cab is iconic around the world and I am pleased that the next generation will have a state of the art production facility in the UK.”
The London Taxi Company’s next generation of low emission Black Cabs has been developed to comply with new regulations for an Ultra Low Emission Zone in London, which will significantly reduce the level of emissions allowed from new taxis.
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.”
Commenting on the new Ultra Low Emission Zone, Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “The London ULEZ will play a key role in driving the market for ultra low emission vehicles in Europe’s leading mega city and set a precedent not only in the UK but around the world. SMMT supports this vision and wants to see London meet its air quality and climate change targets, while driving innovation and supporting jobs. We are pleased to see the Mayor has recognised that the latest diesel technology has a place in an Ultra Low Emissions Zone. It is only by encouraging motorists to invest in the latest, lowest emission technology, regardless of vehicle or fuel type, that the Mayor’s vision be fully realised.”