Black cab maker LTI could be moving out of its historic Coventry base.
The new owners of the iconic taxi firm say the Holyhead Road factory is ‘old’ and ‘has reached the end of its working life’.
But the new vice president of the company has said he wants to keep the business in Coventry where they have ‘well-trained workforces’.
He said talks have already begun to find new premises to build the next generation of taxis.
The London Taxi Company – which was sold to Chinese firm Geely in February after its previous owners went into administration – has been based at its current site for more than 80 years.
Vice president Peter Johansen said: “The factory was built in 1927 so it’s old and reached the end of its working life.
“We’ve already been in discussion with Geely that as part of their investment in us we’re looking to find new premises to build the next generation of taxis.
“With modern facilities you can improve the quality of the vehicle. If you go to any Geely factory in China it’s absolutely state-of-the-art and we’re the poorer cousin of them at the moment.
“It’s most likely to stay in and around Coventry because we’ve got a lot of well trained workforces and we need the skills that those people bring to the business.”
Chinese car maker Geely rescued the ailing firm in an £11.4million buy-out following a three-month search to find a buyer for the troubled manufacturer.
Mr Johansen has also revealed that they plan to restart low level production at the factory in mid-August. Full-scale production is currently planned in for September.
More than 70 former production workers who lost their jobs when the company fell into administration will be offered the chance to apply for 32 vacancies.
Mr Johansen added: “That we’re now in a position to start production recruitment is great news for us, for the trade and for Coventry. I know that the entire team takes great pride in our vehicle.
“I look forward to welcoming back some of the craftsmen who will help us continue to produce our iconic black cab.
“The fundamental difference in the new company, through our parent company Geely, is that we finally have the capital required to develop products and to invest in our future. This is an exciting time for us all; it’s all the more gratifying that we’ll be able to bring back some of the old team to share in this exciting future.”
Since reopening in February, the company has taken on 38 members of staff, with plans to create another 58 across the UK.
Source: Coventry Telegraph