London Taxi Co

London Taxi Company opens £300m Coventry manufacturing plant

The London Taxi Company’s investment will create up to 1,000 direct jobs and support a further 500 roles in the local supply chain.

The 37,000m2 building comprises a 31,000m2 production facility, which will make the next generation of the iconic London Black Cabs from 2017 and other forthcoming models, as well as 6,000m2 office space.

The facility is the first greenfield development of any Chinese automotive manufacturer in the UK, demonstrating parent company Geely’s ongoing commitment to the country and the West Midlands region.

Speaking about the news, Nigel Driffield, a professor of international business at Warwick Business School, said: "The opening of the London Taxi Company's new Ansty Park plant is unambiguously good news for Coventry and the region, and highlights many of the benefits of inward investment.

"Much like JLR, the company was essentially sound with a good product, but was starved of cash for further investment. The foreign investors - who are typically themselves cash rich from successful investments in the home country - are therefore able to take advantage of opportunities others cannot.

"On the face of it, this is one foreign investment that appears relatively robust to the threats from Brexit. The challenge for policymakers both locally and nationally is to ensure that this continues to be the case, supporting local supply chains, both with skills and access to innovation and finance, and aligning the much-vaunted industrial strategy, to the needs of these businesses.

"This includes, for example, support for battery technology, and other sectors that play into these supply chains, to ensure that the region benefits to the greatest possible extent."

The investment reinforces the strength of the UK automotive sector post-EU referendum and the importance of the West Midlands as an engine for that growth.

More than a quarter of the UK’s 30 largest automotive manufacturing sites are based in the West Midlands, with global vehicle makers announcing £850m investment in the area so far this year.

The automotive industry supports around 770,000 jobs in the UK and added £12.4bn to the country’s economy.

Published: 22 March 2017

Article by Bryce Wilcock
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