AM Online

Black clouds for black cabs

London's black cab maker Manganese Bronze Holdings Plc is enduring difficult trading conditions, according to Reuters.

The Coventry-based company sold 797 taxis in the five months to the end of December 2002 compared with 987 a year earlier.

The downturn reflects pessimism in the core market, London, says chief executive Ian Pickering.

“It reflects reduced activity in the London market. It's a reaction by taxi drivers to tougher economic conditions.”

The company is looking for new markets in order to reduce its reliance on the London trade. Pickering says the company is looking at marketing initiatives in the expanding Asian markets, such as China, India and Thailand.

The company's agreement to produce the cars in China with Brilliance China was scrapped in October.

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