New zero-emissions-capable black cab has ambitions for at least five other world cities, but tariffs could hinder growth

The global success of the London Taxi Company (LTC) could be hindered by Brexit negotiations, the company’s chairman has warned.

Carl-Peter Forster said at the opening ceremony of the new £300 million LTC plant in Ansty, Warwickshire that he was “sitting tight” to see what would come of the Government’s plans for the UK's withdrawal from the European Union (EU).

New LEVC TX London taxi revealed with zero-emissions capability

“What will happen? We have no idea,” he said. “[All we can do is] make it very clear what’s at stake for all of our countries in Europe. We should know in two or three years time – but [now] it doesn’t feel comfortable, we can all agree on that.”

LTC has plans to sell its new zero-emissions-capable taxi to at least five other global cities outside of the UK, although London and elsewhere in the UK will be targeted first. Negotiations with other European cities are already underway, and recent promotional work in New York suggests the US is also on the agenda.

Read more: Department for Transport announces £64 million electric taxi incentives

“[The cab’s] unique technology allows us to sell this unique product globally,” said Forster. “But we need a stable and level playing field with our main markets, and we bank on the UK Government in their negotiations to keep that in mind.”

The first TX5 range-extender electric taxis to be produced at LTC’s Ansty plant will go on sale later this year. Production is expected to reach 20,000 units by the end of 2018, and the arrival of a new light commercial vehicle (LCV) based on the same underpinnings will push this up to as much as 36,000.

Brexit could also impact the production costs of the TX5, because around 50% of the value of the model comes from imported parts. The car’s batteries are sourced from Germany, meaning they could be subject to European tariffs, although the infotainment system, connectivity hardware and Volvo-designed 1.5-litre three-cylinder range-extender petrol engine are produced in China.

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Comments
7

22 March 2017
London Taxi has chosen uncertain times to go ahead with their expansion plans. Anybody who has anything to do with foreign trade understands and shares concerns of the companies pouring millions into new products. The withering pound is a major worry too for those in foreign trade. On a tea table this morning parity of sterling to dollar was mentioned. A very uncomfortable thought.

22 March 2017
How so? London taxi regs are changing requiring 'zero emission capable vehicles". If LTI wants a piece of that market it needs to move now, not in a few years time. Similarly, as London and other UK cities are its prime market, it makes little sense to set up in say, Eastern Europe where, although costs may be lower, there's an even higher tariff, market access and currency risk.

22 March 2017
Shooting yourself in both feet.

22 March 2017
Symanski wrote:

Shooting yourself in both feet.

Brexit - trying to keep out the people that will shoot you in any part they can.

23 March 2017
you stinky racist

23 March 2017
The Apprentice wrote:
Symanski wrote:

Shooting yourself in both feet.

Brexit - trying to keep out the people that will shoot you in any part they can.

22 March 2017
The Germans will be just buying the batteries from China or Korea, doing some mild assembly/QA on them and putting a 'Made in Germany - German Quality' sticker on them like they do many things. LTC should just buy from China tariff free and do their own QA.

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