London Cab Maker Hit By Accounting Blunder


The maker of London’s famous black cabs has revealed a £3.9m accounting error, causing it to delay the release of its half-year results.

Following the news, Manganese Bronze’s share price slumped 32% during early morning trading.

The hole in its accounts comes after a difficult seven months. The company said it expects to report “substantially higher” net losses for the first-half, compared to the same period last year.

In a statement Manganese Bronze said: “Due to a combination of system and procedural errors, a number of transactions relating to 2010 and 2011 and some residual balances from the previous system were not properly processed through the new IT system.

“The cumulative effect of these errors is an estimated £3.9m understatement of historical losses which go back over several years although the work to apportion the loss between previous years is not yet complete.”

The company, which is 20% owned by China’s largest private automaker Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd, has been forced to go back to its balance sheet to correct discrepancies.

As a result it will release its half-year results over a month later than expected on September 24.

Manganese Bronze said it has full support from its bankers and shareholders Geely and that as of the end of June it had £2.8m on its agreed banking facilities.

The company also said it expects higher sales in the second half of 2012, but did not know how the error would affect full-year results







  • Nissan unveils a new Hackney Carriage for the Capital
  • Affordable and 50% more fuel efficient, than alternative cabs
  • Complies with TfL regulations, including 25ft turning circle
  • All-electric e-NV200 prototype London Taxi to be tested in 2013
  • Fully backed by London Mayor, Boris Johnson, the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association and disability groups
  • Designed for superior comfort, space, convenience and accessibility



LONDON, United Kingdom, Monday 6 August, 2012: Nissan has unveiled a bold new vision for the future of the London ‘black cab’ and its 300,000 daily users – the Nissan NV200 London Taxi.


The NV200 London Taxi will offer significantly reduced CO2 outputs compared to current taxi models – a focus in line with the Mayor Boris Johnson’s Air Quality strategy for London.


An all-electric e-NV200 concept is also set to undergo trials in the Capital.


The Mayor has joined disability groups and the influential London Taxi Drivers’ Association in welcoming the launch of the Nissan NV200 London Taxi.


Taxi versions of the NV200 have already been unveiled in Tokyo and it has also been chosen as the exclusive New York City ‘Taxi of tomorrow’. The NV200 London Taxi joins an exciting global Nissan vision for the private hire industry.


Nissan has a respected place in the Capital’s taxi history – its 2.7-litre TD27 diesel engine was chosen for the iconic LTI FX4 ‘Fairway’ black cab, which introduced improved speed, reliability and efficiency to the London cabbie’s daily drive. The same engine also featured in the Fairway’s successor, the TX1.


The NV200 will build on this reputation.


Steve McNamara, General Secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association, said: “Nissan already has a great footing in the London taxi market – the 2.7-litre diesel that featured in some of the early taxis was one of the greatest engines ever put in a cab. From what I’ve seen of the NV200 London Taxi, it ticks all the right boxes. It’s important that it looks like a cab, is comfortable with good ingress and egress and is reliable. If the fuel consumption figures are as promised, it will be a big seller.”


Designed from the inside out for the well-being of passengers, drivers and even other road users, the NV200 London Taxi is more efficient and more environmentally considerate than current ‘black cab’ models, while delivering more comfort, space and convenience for occupants. A particular focus was also placed on providing for passengers with mobility issues.


Alan Norton, from Assist UK, said: “Assist UK is proud to be associated with Nissan in the development of an accessible taxi to meet the needs of all disabled people. We have had the opportunity to bring together experts from all fields of disability to work with designers to ensure the vehicle will work for all in their transport needs. The work is ongoing and future refinements are planned after the initial launch, as many ideas have been discussed and are currently undergoing development. We congratulate Nissan for its initiative and wish them every success with their project.”


Durable and reliable, the Nissan NV200 London Taxi is based on the company’s multi-purpose NV200 compact van – a vehicle which has won many awards including International Van Of The Year. Launched at end of 2009, the model has been introduced to 40 countries, selling over 100,000 units worldwide.


The Nissan NV200 London Taxi comfortably seats five adults – three on a rear bench with two on rear-facing, fold-down seats. The front passenger seat has been removed to create space for luggage.


A stand-out feature is the taxi’s sliding passenger doors, which were developed for easy open and close. They are also much safer for pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles because they do not swing out to create a potential obstruction.


The diesel version of the Nissan NV200 London Taxi is expected to be competitively priced below the new TX4 – the London Taxi Company’s current model – and will be available through a designated ‘specialist’ Nissan dealer.


Nissan’s NV200 also delivers significantly improved running costs than alternative London cabs. The model’s frugal 1.5 dCi 89 HP EuroV, 6-speed manual drivetrain achieves 53.3mpg on a combined cycle meaning almost 50% fuel saving than the most efficient TX4 with its combined cycle figure of 35.3mpg.


Fuel costs account for around 10 percent of taxi driver overheads. Over the course of a year, NV200 London Taxi drivers would spend around 50% less – about £700 – on fuel than TX4 drivers.*


With a focus on improving air quality in the city, the NV200 London Taxi’s Euro V engine only emits up to 139g/km of CO2, compared with 209g/km from the ‘greenest’ TX4 model. As a relevant simulation, if all of London’s licensed taxis were replaced with the NV200 London Taxi, there would be a CO2 reduction across London of 37,970 metric tonnes each year – the equivalent of planting 10,000 acres, or two Congestion Charge zones, of trees every 12 months.


More importantly, the harmful NOx and PM (particulate) gases on which authorities are seeking particular improvement in ‘clean air’ legislation, would be reduced by an estimated 135 metric tonnes and 20 metric tonnes per year.**


An all electric version could have an even bigger impact on London’s air quality. Having been the first car manufacturer to mass produce a 100% electric family car with its trail-blazing Nissan LEAF, Nissan could cement its place at the forefront of motoring technology with the introduction of an all-electric e-NV200 London Taxi. With running costs estimated to be around one fifth of a conventional, diesel-powered Hackney Carriage it is likely to be popular with drivers too.


Discussions with all the stakeholders will continue to try and make an e-NV200 a realistic proposition by increasing investment in charging infrastructure.


Subject to final testing, including a crash-test, the diesel-powered Nissan NV200 aims to receive full London Taxi certification later this year.


The extensive modifications to the standard NV200 ensure the model fully conforms to the regulations set in the TfL London Taxi Conditions of Fitness. These include being able to accommodate a wheelchair passenger and achieve a 25ft (7.6m) turning-circle – a legal requirement for all Hackney carriages, said to originate from the small roundabout in front of the famous Savoy Hotel on The Strand that taxis needed to round in one manoeuvre.


Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said: “Improving air quality in London is one of the most important challenges I face as Mayor. Having taken the significant step of introducing the first age limit for taxis in London, I am absolutely delighted that manufacturers are stepping up to the plate and are responding to the challenge I set in my air quality strategy to reduce taxi emissions and improve efficiency. I look forward to when a fully competitive model comes to market.”


Andy Palmer, Executive Vice President of Nissan, said: “Nissan is proud to be delivering a 21st century vision for one of London’s most iconic vehicles. The ‘black cab’ is as much a part of the London landscape as Big Ben and, whilst there will always be a place for that familiar silhouette, the Nissan NV200 London Taxi focuses as much attention on its interior as the exterior – a better experience for drivers and passengers.”


He continued: “The design process for the NV200 London Taxi was exhaustive and will be further improved. In addition to ensuring drivers would be comfortable spending extended hours behind the wheel, we’ve had to consider every user for this vehicle – there are no specific customer profiles in the back of a London cab. Adults, children, business professionals, foreign visitors, disabled travellers – they’re all potential customers. We’ve even considered those who might never get inside the taxi but who will benefit from features such as the model’s lower CO2 emissions or the un-obstructing sliding doors.


“The Nissan NV200 is a global taxi, launching in the biggest and brightest cities in the world. Safe, comfortable, efficient and convenient – it’s a great step forward for providing a transport solution that is good for both its users and other city inhabitants.”



Nissan NV200 London Taxi technical specification*




Vehicle Height


Vehicle Length


Vehicle Width without mirrors


Vehicle Width with mirrors


Turning circle


Engine Displacement (L)


No of cylinders


14MY Estimated Combined Fuel Economy


Engine Power (HP/kW)



240Nm @ 1750rpm







Driven axle



*Exact specifications will not be known until further testing is carried out; figures based on estimates and specification figures of existing NV200 van


Other notable vehicle features are:

  • Increase in front wheel articulation to meet the 25ft (7.6m) turning circle requirement
  • New front direction indicators installed
  • A specially developed ‘Taxi’ sign approved by the PCO, clearly visible both by day and night
  • Step or slope options for the rear sliding door access, for ease of passenger access
  • A 1.2m2 glass roof so that passengers can enjoy the view above the cab, as well as around it
  • A part-glazed bulkhead between the driver and passenger compartment, accommodating rear-facing seats with seatbelt attachments
  • Front passenger seat removed for luggage space
  • Rear seats on sliders, for flexibility of load and rear cabin space; especially useful for wheelchair access
  • Fixation points incorporated into the floor/bulkhead to enable tie-down of a wheelchair
  • Separate lighting controls for driver and passengers; the passenger control switch is within easy reach of wheelchair passengers; floor-level lighting fitted to each passenger door
  • Heating and ventilation system for driver and passengers, with independent controls; the passenger control switch is within easy reach of wheelchair passengers


Current TfL LTPH regulations for construction and licensing of motor taxis for use in London:


*Below calculations assume all London taxis are current TX4 model. Reality is large percentage will be older and less fuel efficient.


TX4: 233,600,000 taxi miles per year / 35.3mpg (TX4 Combined Cycle Economy) = 6,617,563 gallons

6,617,563 gallons x (143.6ppl * 4.55 = £6.53 av. Cost per gallon diesel) = £43,212,686


NV200 London Taxi: 233,600,000 taxi miles per year / 53.3mpg (NV200 Combined Cycle Economy) = 4,382,739 gallons


4,382,739 gallons x (143.6ppl * 4.55 = £6.53 av. cost per gallon of diesel (Jan-Jun 2012)) = £28,619,285


Overall difference = £43,212,686 – £28,619,285 = £14,593,401 per year.

Individual drivers = £14,593,401 / 22,000 = £663 per year.


**Assuming an average CO2 emissions figure of 240g/km for current taxi models – based on automatic transmission outputs – and 139g/km for the 1.5dCi NV200 5-speed manual, there would be an estimated annual reduction of 37,970 metric tonnes of CO2.


Assuming an average NOx emissions figure of 0.50g/km for current taxi models – based on automatic transmission outputs – and 0.14g/km for the 1.5dCi NV200 5-speed manual, there would be an estimated annual reduction of 135 metric tonnes of NOx.


Assuming an average PM (particulates) emissions figure of 0.056g/km for current taxi models – based on automatic transmission outputs – and 0.001g/km for the 1.5dCi NV200 5-speed manual, there would be an estimated annual reduction of 20 metric tonnes of PM10.



TfL Advisory: Alterations to Olympic Route Network

In line with its commitment to keeping disruption to Londoners to an absolute minimum, Transport for London (TfL) has today outlined several alterations to the Olympic Route Network that will relax restrictions at certain locations.

Throughout the Games TfL is monitoring the Olympic Route Network (ORN) and as planned we are making adjustments based on changing traffic flows and the requirements of the venues. The Games Lanes are being operated flexibly and we are keeping them open to general traffic wherever and whenever we can. Over the course of the Olympics so far, typically less than 40 per cent of the Games Lanes have been in operation.

Some venues, such as Wimbledon, cease operation altogether shortly, and the local road network will have restrictions lifted. A number of other changes are already taking place, including the reintroduction of pedestrian crossings at Lower Thames Street/ Southwark Bridge (west side) and at Old Billingsgate Market.

From tomorrow morning, the following alterations will be in effect:
· Taxis will now be able to turn left and right onto Westminster bridge from Waterloo
· The left turn for general traffic from Marble Arch to Great Cumberland Place will be reintroduced
· The left turn from Vernon Place onto A4200 Kingsway will be reintroduced
· The Zebra crossing on Seymour Street will be introduced

Leon Daniels, TfL’s Managing Director Surface Transport, said: “We remain committed to keeping disruption to an absolute minimum and we continue to review and amend traffic restrictions whenever possible – to reduce the impact on road users. More alterations will follow as venues cease operation, and we’ll continue to keep Londoners and businesses, including freight, taxi and private hire drivers informed.”