Further taxi boost for Coventry with £50m investment in new production facilities

COVENTRY is set to see a second multi-million pound investment in taxi manufacture following an announcement that an all-new Metrocab is to begin production in the city next year.

The £50m expansion of the existing Multimatic factory follows the signing of a new deal with Frazer-Nash Research and Ecotive, the makers of the Metrocab, which is the only zero-emissions capable black cab currently operating in London.

The move promises a further jobs boost for the city although no figures have been announced.

The move comes after the decision earlier this year by Chinese automotive company Geely to invest £250m in a new state-of the-art research, development and assembly facility for the London Taxi Company.

The new factory will be based at Ansty Park and will develop the next generation electric and ultra-low emission London black cab.

The first vehicles produced at the newly-expanded Multimatic facility are destined for the London market, which is likely to bring it into competition with LTC, although its vehicle is intended to be a global model.

In a statement, Frazer-Nash Research and Ecotive said they were “pleased to announce that the Metrocab for the UK will enter volume production in Coventry next year, as part of a new partnership with manufacturing specialist, Multimatic”.

Multimatic is a privately held global corporation supplying components, systems and services to the automotive industry. The company is headquartered in Markham, Ontario, and has operating divisions in North America, Europe and Asia, with manufacturing partners in South America and Australia.

Multimatic’s core competencies lie in the high volume manufacture of automotive mechanisms, structures and suspension components, as well as the design and development of automotive body and chassis systems.

Multimatic Niche Vehicles (MNV) manufactures complete cars as well as body/chassis assemblies for low volume programs such as Aston Martin’s One-77, Zagato and GT12, the Lagonda Taraf and Ford GT.  Multimatic Engineering supplies customers as diverse as Red Bull Formula One, Tesla and Mercedes AMG.  It has a well-established manufacturing facility in Coventry, which is now undergoing expansion to accommodate the start of Metrocab production next year.

Metrocab chairman, Sir Charles Masefield, said: “This announcement marks another important step in bringing the all-new electric powered Metrocab to volume production.  Our prototype fleet is already operating very successfully in London, proving that our Range Extended Electric taxis are the solution to delivering on the city’s Ultra Low Emission Zones promises from 2018.  

“Next year we will enter volume production with the hugely respected and experienced Multimatic.  We are delighted to be working with such an established partner to fulfil our ambitions following our significant investment in developing this product and to bring further skilled jobs to the UK.”

Multimatic Vice President, Larry Holt added: “We have been following closely the development of zero-emissions capable taxis in the UK, and have worked with Metrocab for a number of years to bring their prototype fleet to the market.
“We are all delighted with the performance and operational results of this first fleet, and it is very satisfying to now commit to enter series production of the all-new Metrocab.”