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London's black cabs turning green

Wednesday, March 22, 2017 - 01:50

The Chinese-owned maker of London's black cabs has opened a new factory in central England to produce electric taxis which it also hopes to sell overseas for the first time to cities keen on the famous brand and concerned about pollution. Ciara Lee reports.

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A brand new production line. But no run of the mill London taxi. This car plant in Coventry is where the world's first purpose-built, mass-market electric cab will go into production. London Taxi Company - owned by China's Geely - has invested more than £300m in the new site and the next-generation of the iconic taxi. (SOUNDBITE) (English) THE LONDON TAXI COMPANY CEO, CHRIS GUBBEY, SAYING: "This wouldn't be here today without that backing. You have to look at what that has created, we are still quintessentially a British company. This is designed by Brits, engineered by Brits and it is built by highly skilled Brits in this factory in Britain." Creating more than 1000 new jobs, and with the capacity to build 20,000 vehicles per year, the plant will export around the world. Britain hopes more investors will follow them - but could next week's triggering of Article 50 put them off? (SOUNDBITE) (English) GREG CLARK, BRITISH BUSINESS MINISTER, SAYING: "Advanced manufacturing generally is increasingly international, supply chains cross borders. So we approach the negotiations with full recognition that we need mutually to have a mature and serious relationship which allows us in every country of Europe to be prosperous." The taxi uses Volvo Car electric powertrain system technologies. And with new emissions laws coming into play for taxi drivers in 2018, the focus is on going green. But their price hasn't yet been announced - some cabbies fear they'll never be able to afford them LTC was bought by Geely after going into administration in 2012. The Chinese company posted its biggest profit in 8 years this week. And is forecasting a 31 percent jump in sales this year.

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London's black cabs turning green

Wednesday, March 22, 2017 - 01:50