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Manganese Bronze, maker of London's black cabs, appoints administrators

Manganese Bronze, the maker of London's iconic black cabs, has appointed administrators.

London black cabs 2012 10 23Enlarge
A black cab drives through a puddle in central London on June 11, 2012. (AFP/Getty Images)

The maker of London’s iconic black cabs is on the verge of going bust.

Manganese Bronze, whose distinctive taxis have been picking up passengers across Britain since 1948, called in the administrators on Monday after failing to secure funding from its major shareholders, including Chinese auto maker Geely and Toscafund Asset Management, Reuters reported.

The Associated Press said the company has struggled during Britian's economic downturn and growing competition from Mercedes.

“Manganese Bronze Holdings...  today announces that discussions with various parties to secure funding on acceptable terms to address the group’s financial needs have proved unsuccessful,” the company said in a statement cited by the Financial Times.

“The board has therefore concluded that the group is no longer a going concern and has filed notice of intention to appoint administrators.”

The decision to enter administration comes after Manganese Bronze suspended sales of its TX4 taxis earlier this month following a recall of 400 black cabs due to a defect in their steering box, the Daily Mail reported.

Manganese Bronze, which has been losing money for years, warned at the time that the recall and suspension of sales would have a "material and detrimental" impact on its cashflow, CNN Money reported.

The Daily Mail reported that the management of Manganese Bronze remained hopeful that “the fundamental strengths of the company, the TX4 model and its global reputation" would ensure the company survived.  

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/united-kingdom/121023/manganese-bronze-londons-black-cabs-administrators