Greater volumes of the iconic London Taxi are set for distribution from Shanghai to global markets as London Taxis International (LTI) reaches final negotiations with a number of logistics providers.
We are in the latter stage of negotiations with various companies to handle this side of the business but a full appointment will not be made until we have a clearer picture of destinations and volumes which will be later this year,” Nigel Walters, International Market Development spokesman for LTI’s UK division told Automotive Logistics.
Following parent company Manganese Bronze Holdings signing of a £53m ($79.5m) deal in 2006 with Chinese carmaker Geely and its associate Shanghai Maple, the joint venture company, Shanghai LTI Automobile, will begin producing the London Taxi, a limousine variant of it and two additional large saloon cars at a facility in the Fengjing Industry Park in Shanghai. The RMB 500m ($65.2m) factory is being built with a targeted annual production capacity of 20,000 London taxis. The vehicle was launched at the Shanghai Auto Show last month.
“The cost of producing the London Taxi is expected to be significantly lower due to higher volumes,“ said Walters. 
The developments in China follow the company’s first shipment of the current TX4 models to Valencia from the UK supported by logistics provider Gefco.
“We have a distributor based in Valencia who has bought London Taxis from us for 15 years,” continued Walters. “These vehicles have always been built in the UK and the delivery last February was the first time the Spanish had taken our current model, the TX4. In the past, the Spanish used to collect their own vehicles on an ex-works basis but this time we arranged the delivery to Valencia on their behalf. Gefco were chosen by us this time due to their experience in moving vehicles and competitive price.”
According to a Gefco spokesperson, the vehicles were picked up by Gefco transporters from LTI’s production facility in Coventry and taken directly to Grimsby docks for the ocean journey by shipping partner Toyofuji Shipping Company. “The transporters were then able to collect PSA product imported to the UK via Grimsby for forward transport to our sites in Sandtoft and Corby,” it told Automotive Logistics. Gefco also handled the road delivery in Spain.
Gefco has recently set up a new service between Grimsby and its regional distribution centre in Sandtoft that includes a weekly automotive shipment from Europe, using vessels that can carry up to 750 vehicles.