Coventry to become epicentre of taxi world with new MetroCab factory



Coventry is to become the epicentre of the taxi world after it was announced the MetroCab will also be produced in the city.

The Zero Emission Electric Taxi will roll off at the production line at a new CAD CAM Automotive(CCA) factory to be built somewhere in the city.

It means the MetroCab will join the London Electric Vehicle Company’s TXe London taxi, which is being made in Ansty, with both zero-emissions taxis competing to be the cab driver’s vehicle of choice in London and around the world.

The MetroCab will be built at a new factory on the back of a £100m investment from CCA’s Chinese owners Red Sun Group.

CCA, which was founded in 1999, currently employs 220 staff at its Holbrooks Lane plant. The new complex will be developed at a different site in the city.

A small fleet of new Metrocabs were operated by Comcab in London and given a massive vote of confidence

As well as producing the MetroCab on the Ecotive Vehicle Platform, Red Sun Group’s investment also represents a vote of confidence in the specialised work CCA does for growing Coventry car maker Jaguar Land Rover.

It provides lightweight aluminium bodyshells for Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicles Operations based in Ryton-on-Dunsmore.

The Ecotive Vehicle Platform on which the MetroCab is based is produced by Surrey-based firm Ecotive Limited.

   

Yang Shou Hai, president of Red Sun Group, said: “I have always been driven by applying new technologies to provide better products and reduce the impact on our environment.

“This is another strong step in Red Sun’s stated ambition to becoming China and the world’s pioneer in new technology, independent innovation and industrial models.

“This investment opportunity brings together highly skilled workers, and the application of market-leading technologies to provide highly efficient commercial vehicles with vastly reduced harmful exhausts.”

Although no mention has as yet been made of job creation, Red Sun Group’s continued investment in CCA suggests it is confident of sustained growth.

“We are very excited at the longer-term prospects this technology and plant can deliver,” Yang Shou Hai added.

“This investment, on top of the £300m already announced, will lead to the production of billions of pounds worth of cars and commercial vehicles in the years to come.”

What the minister said

Richard Harrington MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Minister for Business and Industry, said: “Today’s investment is further evidence of the UK’s strength in developing electric vehicle technology and highlights the significant innovation within the Midlands Engine.

“Our landmark Automotive Sector Deal, announced in January, also committed £400m towards building new charging infrastructure for electric vehicles as well as another £200m for advanced battery technology – all of which will help ensure that the UK leads the world in the development of new technologies that support a cleaner future.”

Automotive sector thriving in Coventry

Martyn Wheeler, managing director of CCA, added: “This investment is not only a testament to the quality of our company’s employees and their output, but further proof that the automotive production business is thriving in the Midlands and especially in Coventry.”

CAD CAM Automotive's factory in Holbrooks Lane
LEP - this will create new jobs

Jonathan Browning, chair of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This is another significant investment from Red Sun and will clearly help CAD CAM continue to build its capability as well as create new jobs in Coventry and Warwickshire.

“Once again it is a sign of how the long-established pedigree in engineering and manufacturing is helping to drive through very necessary new technology.”

Craig Humphrey, of the CWLEP Growth Hub, said: "We have worked closely with CAD CAM for the past three years to help the company grow sustainably and to realise its expansion plans. 

"It is really rewarding to see the company and its workforce succeeding in what is a highly competitive industry."

GĂ©rard Lopez, executive chairman of Ecotive Limited, said: “Today marks another important day as the Ecotive Vehicle Platform moves towards full production, firstly through the MetroCab.

“We look forward to working closely with both Red Sun Group and CCA as we head towards production of our revolutionary cab.”



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