London Taxi made in China sold in Saudi Arabia
"Made in China", the world's least respected tag
(according to Next Car's editor) is now worn by the famous London taxi.
24th July, 2009
The first London Taxis built in Shanghai, China,
have been introduced to drivers and passengers in Saudi Arabia. The news signals exciting times
ahead for its makers, LTI Vehicles, as a joint venture in China is set to transform the Coventry
based firm into a global brand.
Ordered by LTI’s Distributor in the Kingdom, Ujra Holdings, they will be operated as the
London Taxi Service from the Four Seasons hotel, where ten of the famous black cabs will be
carrying guests to the airport, major tourist attractions and conference venues. Further orders
have also been received for twenty eight more taxis for Saudi Arabia as they prove so popular with
passengers and drivers.
The London Taxi has been specially adapted to cope with the hotter climate. Built with a higher
specification of air conditioning, tinted windows and parts that allow for expansion in the heat
as well as able to cope with the desert dust, the taxi was chosen to move customers about rather
than use more traditional saloon taxis.
For Matthew Cheyne, International Market Development Director for LTI Vehicles, these are
exciting times for the whole team. “Our TX4 model is generating a lot of interest from
international businesses, passengers and operators. Enquiries are increasing and drivers and
passengers are telling us that the London Taxi is providing them with a first class ride and
“Shanghai LTI, our Chinese joint venture with Geely, is quickly transforming us into a
global brand as we expand our operation and take our iconic product into countries such as
Bahrain, Poland and Dubai.”
As part of the joint venture, Geely has established a new factory unit at its Shanghai site where
Chinese employees have been trained by their Coventry counterparts.
Matthew believes both parties have much to gain from the joint venture as commercial production
gets underway. “Geely is a very fast moving, highly entrepreneurial business with proven product
development and production capabilities.”
“The venture will also bring benefits to our UK operation by allowing us to take advantage of
more cost-effective components for our current range. This will help us to maintain our price
competitiveness and generate profits to invest in the business.”
As the UK’s largest British-owned automotive manufacturer, LTI employs 450 people at its Coventry
manufacturing plant and wholly owned Mann & Overton dealerships in London, Birmingham and