(Yicai Global) Dec. 22 -- A supplier of Chinese automotive giant Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. [HK:0175] has completed the exterior development of Hangzhou-based firm's new TX5 model, widely known as London's iconic 'black cab,' and plans mass marketing next year. TX5 will introduce a new generation of black cabs for Londoners and represents a step forward in Chinese automotive heavyweight's overseas presence.
Geely has commissioned the Fujian Haiyuan Automatic Equipments Co. [SHE:002529] for the completion of its new London taxi model TX5's exteriors. It will start the testing stage early next year, to be followed by mass production, Fuhjian Haiyuan said. TX-5 model is expected to create CNY450 million (USD68.4 million) turnover during its life cycle.
TX5 refers to the first new model released by Geely since its acquisition of the London Taxi Company, which is now renamed London Electric Vehicle Company Ltd. as a Geely subsidiary. China's automaker titan will employ new energy hybrid-power technologies in the new TX5 model. Haiyuan Automatic Equipments has high standards for the environment friendly materials. The new TX5 will be a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.
The 'black cab' of the London Taxi Company features a long history of nearly 70 years. It is regarded as one of London's iconic symbols. However, the company has been in the red since 2008. Geely acquired it for GBP11.04 million (USD14.7 million) in 2013 and plans to turn it into a new-energy brand. It has recently invested nearly USD400 million in a new electric vehicle plant in the UK for the next generation of 'black cabs.'
Geely also acquired Volvo, well-known Swedish auto brand, for USD1.5 billion in 2010. Some media reports suggested Geely will use the plug-in hybrid-power system of Volvo in the new TX5 model.