As the Japanese carmaker squares off against rivals battling for control of London’s cab ranks, Nissan will build its new London taxi at a factory in Coventry, the traditional manufacturing base for the capital’s cab fleet.
Nissan, the UK’s biggest carmaker by production, will turn out the first of the new models at the end of 2014 as part of a £6 million investment that adds to the UK’s growing vehicle manufacturing footprint.
Coventry is already the home of London Taxi Company, maker of the benchmark London cab for decades and market leader, which finds itself amid a war with global brands such as Nissan and Mercedes-Benz as well as smaller manufacturers in a rapidly fragmenting market.
Nissan will build the taxis with ADV Manufacturing, a Coventry-based company, using some parts built by the Japanese carmaker in Spain. Andy Palmer, Nissan executive vice-president, said the vehicle, which will be petrol powered in advance of a 2015 launch of an electric version, would be “a new icon for London”.
“We are pleased to be reinforcing once again our commitment to the British automotive industry, and the fact that our black cabs will be rolling off the production line in Coventry, with its long history in the taxi business, is an added bonus,” said Palmer.
Manufacturers Frazer-Nash, Nissan, Karsan and Mercedes are all developing electric, hybrid or low-emission models for the city, ending almost four decades of market dominance by the London Taxi Company, formerly known as Manganese Bronze and now owned by Chinese carmaker Geely.
Via Financial Times