A Peek at How Taxis Actually Get Made
A taxi cab factory in Coventry (about 100 miles north of London) is up and running again after an emergency recall in 2012, put all work to a halt.
The company has since been purchased by Geely, a Chinese firm that also owns Volvo, for $17 million. Now, the uniquely designed cabs can continue to be made in the United Kingdom, even as an increasing amount of orders for them come from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Azerbaijan.
Li Shufu, Geely's chairman tells the Guardian that reopening the factory has created 66 new jobs but 156 locals were put out of work when Manganese, the original owners, had to walk away from production. Once fully up and running, Geely expects the plant to build 50 new taxis a week, exporting about half of them in the first year. Only 900 cabs were made in 2012 before the shutdown. The company also produces the taxis, officially known as TX4s, at a plant in Shanghai and hopes to soon develop a new, TX5 model. Maganese Bronze, the plant's former owners, had built over 130,000 cabs at the Coventry facility since 1948.
Men work on the production line at the London Taxi Company in Coventry, central England, September 11, 2013. (REUTERS/Darren Staples)
The body of a TX4 is lowered on to its chassis on the production line. (REUTERS/Darren Staples)
Workers build a TX4 on the production line. (REUTERS/Darren Staples)
A worker looks inside the body of a TX4 on the production line. (REUTERS/Darren Staples)
A taxi is washed on the production line. (REUTERS/Darren Staples)
A taxi is driven away from the London Taxi Company in Coventry. (REUTERS/Darren Staples)