London’s ubiquitous black cabs will be coming to Shanghai in September.
London’s black cab, also known as the hackney carriage, dates back to the early 20th century with drivers that have to take a rigorous test called “the knowledge,” which includes the driver testing his ability to immediately plan the quickest route without the assistance of a map or GPS system.
The TX4 cabs, with their high roofs and open-access luggage platforms, will give priority service to passengers with special needs, such as the elderly and disabled, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Shanghai LTI Automobile Co., owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, will sell 200 of the black cabs to Shanghai Qiangsheng Holding Co. with the first 50 to be delivered in September. Zhejiang Geely bought a 20% stake in 2006 in London Taxi Co., the maker of the TX4 cab. Last year, Zhejiang Geely spent $18 million to acquire the principal assets of the company.
Shanghai LTI has already sold 1,000 TX4 cabs to cities in mainland China, including Beijing, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Nanjing, and Guangzhou. The company will sell the black cab for 200,000 yuan in Shanghai, more than double the cost of the Volkswagen Santana, which makes up the majority of Shanghai’s taxi fleet.
image source: patrick mayon