16 January 2003 | David Arminas
London Taxis International (LTI), maker of the black cab, still wants a deal with a Chinese partner despite the collapse of a contract to make the taxis in China for the south-east Asia market.
Mike Lycett, supply chain director at Coventry-based LTI, said the failure of the 20-year deal with car maker China Brilliance, signed at the beginning of 2002, was a setback, but LTI is committed to working in China.
"We are looking for a new partner," he said. "LTI had a good contract with Brilliance. We didn't lose financially."
Brilliance was to make the cabs under licence and LTI was to import Chinese-made parts for UK-built cabs once they met UK quality standards. More than 3,000 cabs a year were expected to be built in China - more than are made in the UK.
Lycett said the deal was called off by Brilliance and that the biggest lesson was how important personal relationship issues are for Chinese companies.
Many car makers in the US and Europe are eyeing China because its population has the best potential for sales.