Britain’s Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) says it would be a “tragedy” to see the world-known TX4 black cab manufactured outside the UK.
A high-profile campaign is currently under way involving the UK’s largest labour body, Unite and London Mayor, Boris Johnson, to keep assembly of the taxi in Britain, with the Union also asking Prime Minster, David Cameron and Business Secretary, Vince Cable, for their support.
The drive to mobilise top politicians follows manufacturer, Manganese Bronze’s move into administration after it was hit by a recall following problems with steering boxes supplied with China.
Some 400 cabs were forced off the road following the steering issues, with administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers eventually finding a supplier solution to allow the taxis back into service.
“Obviously, we would rather it was kept in the UK,” LTDA general secretary, Steve Mcnamara, told just-auto.
“We see it as an iconic vehicle – overused word but it is true – it is recognised as an English brand. It would be a tragedy to see it being made abroad.”
Mcnamara revealed Magal Engineering was the British supplier behind the rescue of the 400 cabs.
The Taxi Drivers Association chief described the London black cab as traditional as “policemen with pointed hats and red [phone] boxes.”
The LTDA represents 9,500 London taxi drivers out of a total of 22,000.
Unite said the administrators are reaching “a crucial stage” in short-listing potential buyers and is asking stakeholders to apply as much pressure as possible to ensure any purchaser commits to building the black cabs in the UK.
“Unite is urging Pwc and any potential buyer to keep manufacturing in Coventry and the black cab on the road,” said the union.
“PWC could make the final decision on the company’s future towards the end of this month or early January.”