Coventry saw some dark times ahead, just back in October 2012, when the London Taxi Company went into administration. Taking with it the loss of 99 jobs from the vehicle manufacturing plant.
The news prompted MP Jim Cunningham to submit an Early Day Motion to the House of Commons, for assurances that any potential buyouts of LTC would require adherence for production to remain at its Coventry base.
Over the past 60 years, the Coventry LTC plant has produced over 130’000 black cabs, operating around the UK today. Not only producing the Black Cabs, but maintaining them too. New parts, used parts, and servicing the cabs too.
Ensuring taxi drivers and their customers are always in a highly maintained vehicle, with no technical issues. Fortunately, the uncertain times, with thoughts of LTC being lost forever were ended with certainty for the future. That same month of October saw Chinese Car Manufacturer “Geely” buyout LTC for £11.4 million.
The Chinese firm Geely are the owners of the Volvo brand and a key automotive manufacturer on a global level. They know what it takes to produce quality vehicles. On an even brighter note, they were also keen to keep production rolling out of the Coventry base. It brings the Chinese automotive manufacturing to Britain, giving advantages to both countries, due the British ties.
After emotional times for the staff working at the plant, June is the month that some will be back in their usual careers in production, rolling out Black Cabs to meet industry demand. Initial announcements from the new owners were that they’d require 100 staff to get the production back on track.
In March, that number was above expected, with LTC employing 107 staff. With June now upon us, there’s still additional vacancies need to be filled within the iconic Black Cabs production base in Coventry.
It’s expected that of the 156 employees, laid off back in October will be offered the positions, prior to new vacancies being advertised. Some of the staff demands of LTC are in need of the skills the previous workforce had.
During the time the company had production halted, staff were kept busy repairing faults on some 400 black cabs recalled for technical issues. This goes to show that the production industry isn’t all about operating machinery.
There’s a skilled workforce needed to ensure everything runs smoothly throughout the production line, and on the quality control front.
Over the last couple of weeks, orders are rolling in, now that production is set to start back. 200 cabs in the UK have been ordered, with additional international orders from as far as Saudi Arabia and Australia.
The total orders are set to exceed 800 vehicles. The demand for production now has taxi companies on a five-week waiting list for a new black cab.
Busy times ahead
Back in October there were a loss of 99 jobs, and as of current there’s now 107 with an additional 30 vacancies needing filled, the total jobs is on track back to the 158. That said, the LTC is busy with production, and this is only part production starting back. Full-scale production isn’t expected until the end of September 2013.
For those around Coventry who are interested in a manufacturing career, then LTC could be the place for you.