Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. will invest 100 million pounds ($151.7 million) in London black cab maker Manganese Bronze Holdings Plc in the next five years as part of plans to turn the company profitable.
Chairman Li Shufu announced the investment plan, which will see Manganese Bronze export its black cabs to other countries, according to Victor Yang, a spokesman for the company. The China Daily reported the plan earlier today.
Zhejiang Geely agreed to buy Manganese Bronze, which entered administration last year, for 11.04 million pounds on a debt-free basis, the Chinese automaker said Feb. 1. The purchase will help the closely held automaker headed by Li speed up its expansion following the purchase of Volvo Cars in Sweden.
Manganese Bronze will become profitable in one year instead of the previous target of three years, as the cab maker expands sales to overseas markets, Yang said by phone. The company has sold 200 cabs each to Australia and Saudi Arabia, he said.
The cab maker will also sell its taxis in China, though no sales targets have been set, Yang said. About 500 of the black cabs are already operating in Chinese cities such as Beijing, Guangzhou and Ningbo, he said.
Manganese Bronze has said it will continue to build its taxis in Coventry, England.