A Different Kind of London Taxi & A Different Kind of British Car Magazine

An editor that I know once said something about disappearing into a rabbit hole when you start to read about an automotive topic. You never know where you’ll come out minutes, hours or even days later. Doug DeMuro’s post where he ranked vehicles used as taxicabs elicited a thread of comments about London’s signature black taxis. While some of our more curmudgeonly readers think it’s rather arrogant of TTAC to call our site’s commenters the Best & Brightest (anyone besides me see the irony there?), we do have a well informed readership so I wasn’t surprised to see Geely mentioned as the owner of Manganese Bronze Holdings, who make the distinctive London hacks. The mention of the London cabs, though, pricked my memory. I had recently read that someone else, another company, made London taxis besides Manganese. Then I just had to remember who it was.

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Geely: We Don't Need Any More London Taxi

A bit more than a week ago, we reported that Geely might want to raise its stake in the London black cab builder Manganese Bronze from currently 20 percent to more than 51 percent. Ok, story, sit over there under the sign that says “Chinese stories, not happening.”

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Ni Hao, Guv'nor: London Taxi Moving To China

With all the hubbub over Volvo, it’s easy to forget that Geely already owns a foreign carmaker: Managnese Bronze, the company that makes London’s iconic black-cabs. Well, Geely doesn’t “own” Maganese, they hold a 19.97 percent share. That is about to change.

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Ford And Geely Swear: No Volvo Troubles

China’s Geely and Ford say they are on track to sign a deal on Volvo, says Reuters after checking back with the players. Spokesmen for Ford and Geely said their companies still plan to sign on the dotted line by the end of the month. Then, the deal would close sometime in summer.

Doubts were raised by China Daily, China’s government-owned and English speaking newspaper. They speculated that “financing and technology issues could delay Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, the parent of Geely Automobile, in its plan to acquire the Volvo brand from US automaker Ford Motor Co,” after talking to “sources familiar with the matter.” The same sources said that “the chances of a short-term deal now looks bleak, unless the two sides make major concessions.” At first glance, this smells like some last minute arm-wrestling, not too foreign to anybody living in China. However, China Daily sees two problems, far beyond the usual haggling:

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  • Wjtinfwb I see all three backing away quietly and slowly. Between political winds and corporate green mandates plus the previously mentioned mandates, automakers will have to thread a needle between public demand and acceptance, and the extremely loud voices of the minority screaming for fossil fuels to be abandoned by 2030, which of course won't happen. Ford jumped in early with the Lightning and Mach-E, but since has tempered their enthusiasm and probably spent less money as the Lightning shares a lot with the gas F-150. GM however has built some bespoke platforms out on the edge that will end up being a gigantic waste of money. The Hummer EV is a joke and the new Silverado EV while impressive is both expensive and less practical than an electric version of the current gas Silverado could have been. The Cadillac EVs are the dumbest move yet, especially their upcoming 400k model. Ford seems to have a leg up on GM in Hybrid which would seem like a better interim measure, I'd be surprised if a Hybrid Explorer isn't in the works and could see a Gas/Electric Expedition and Super Duty being successful as well. US energy policy and gas prices into the next administration will play a significant role in consumer demand, if prices stay high and supplies artificially constrained, demand will increase for more efficient cars and trucks. If we go back to a self-sufficient energy policy and prices drop, demand for Hybrid's and EVs will moderate even more.
  • Wjtinfwb Poor cousin to the Blazer & Bronco that dominated this segment. The 1st Gen Ramcharger was a much better and better looking truck, with the 440 available and without the AMC Pacer style real windows. The Bronco and Blazer felt and looked much more modern and cohesive than the Mopar's, and that's not saying very much. Probably attractive to the Mopar faithful but for the rest of us... No thanks at any price.
  • Not Ford will have a great reckoning with its EV production goals. Their EVs haven’t been as popular as initially anticipated and have been dealing quality issues (persistent recalls on Mach E) or disappointing performance (cold weather and towing greatly diminishing range on Lightning).Their top selling vehicle remains the ICE powered F-series. Consumers will only tolerate so much price increase as Ford tries to subsidize the massive losses it incurs with EV production. Being forced to eat profit off of 2-3 ICE F-series to offset losses from a single Lightning will quickly prove to be unsustainable business. This is the very same company that abandoned cars entirely to focus on more profitable trucks.
  • LYNN DELANEY Mine is a 2001 Pure White Miata. I bought it at Concord Mazda. I love it but Imay be about to get rid of it I guess. It's been in my garage for quite awhile. Why? 1. I don't have a lot of money (I'm a retired teacher) And I've had issues with it that require financing. For example when you insert the key and turn it nothing happens. Why? I got it at Concord Mazda and somehow. it came to my condo shared garage to die and has remained such to this day. If you want to experience it you put the key in the keyhole and turn it but silence ensues and you wonder why but you know it's because the key was "programmed and it worked when you brought it home but not since.I'm told it requires a new battery but I've not had the financial energy to deal with it. I love my Miata but will I keep it? I'm unsure. Next step? Install a new battery...When it came home from Concord Mazda it was perfect for a quick minute. I tested it. I drove it around my block in Oakland, California just one time. That was the end of it. Since them I'm told it needs a new battery. It's a 2001. Shall I go ahead and splurge?
  • Dusterdude @El scotto , I'm aware of the history, I have been in the "working world" for close to 40 years with many of them being in automotive. We have to look at situation in the "big picture". Did UAW make concessions in past ? - yes. Do they deserve an increase now ? -yes . Is their pay increase reasonable given their current compensation package ? Not at all ! By the way - are the automotive CEO's overpaid - definitely! (That is the case in many industries, and a separate topic). As the auto industry slowly but surely moves to EV's , the "big 3" will need to be producing top quality competitive vehicles or they will not survive.