London Taxi Company (LTC), owned by Chinese automaker Geely, is targeting to sell its taxis to major cities in Europe. The new TX5 from LTC is aimed to hit the streets of Europe by next year.
The firm has already invested on putting up a new factory in central England to produce a 10-fold increase in its output, which is around 10,000 taxis by the end of the decade. LTC chief executive Chris Gubbey told Reuters that they have scheduled to begin selling the cabs in Europe by 2018, specifically the latest low-emission models.
Gubbey acknowledges that they are facing the big risk of breaking into the European market where it has been dominated by other competitors and local brands. Gubbey said they are not expecting a huge market share since they know for a fact that Europeans have the tendency to be very nationalistic in terms of patronizing their own products.
The chief executive also clarified that the Brexit vote and uncertainties on future trades have not affected their investment plans to expand production. However, he also noted that the Brexit could turn out to an additional 10 percent tariff to comply with the World Trade Organization rules, EuroNews reported.
In another interview, Gubbey told AutoExpress that they are aiming to replace 50 percent of London's fleet of black taxis with LTC's latest TX5 by 2020. LTC will offer its all-new black taxis called TX5. This model is the state-of-the-art plug-in powertrain which utilizes electric motors and a three-cylinder petrol engine to power up a huge battery pack.
Geely senior vice president Peter Horbury told the publication that the plan is to produce cabs which look like a London taxi. The new TX5 will sport the similar vertical front grille and headlights will be round as well, with some chrome accents. The new cab will house 6 persons and will sport a huge panoramic glass roofing to add greater satisfaction to the ride.