London taxi firm’s sales slide 10%

Sales of London taxis dropped 10%. Picture: PA
Sales of London taxis dropped 10%. Picture: PA
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The maker of the distinctive London taxi yesterday reported a near 10 per cent drop in UK sales as cabbies continued to shy away from buying vehicles amid economic uncertainty.

Coventry-based Manganese Bronze sold 1,502 vehicles in the UK last year, down from 1,653 in 2010 as trade outside London plummeted.

Manganese, which is 20 per cent owned by China’s largest private car maker, Geely, said London sales rose 4 per cent to 1,074, while sales in other parts of the UK plunged 31 per cent to 428, as the rest of the country lagged behind the capital amid higher unemployment.

However, the group reported narrower full-year losses of £2.6 million, compared to £6.3m the previous year, as it enjoyed a record year for export sales. Chief executive John Russell said: “The tough decisions we have taken to re-structure the business and develop close ties with Geely are beginning to bear fruit.”