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Black cab company lands Pounds 2m Africa deal.

A Coventry firm is to sign a multi-million pound deal today to supply black cabs to South Africa.

London Taxis International will be sending out around 150 of its flagship TX1 cabs in the next 12 months - worth about Pounds 2 million.

That could rise to between 250 and 350 vehicles in future years, safeguarding work at the Holyhead Road factory, where bosses cut 75 jobs before Christmas.

The contract is on top of another Pounds 250,000 order for 14 black cabs for Singapore secured last week.

London Taxis director of overseas operations, Updesh Ramnath, said: ``This is likely to be our biggest ever export order to Africa, bigger than the 300 vehicles sent to Kenya some years ago.

``It will bring enhanced stability for the firm. It is a very significant order for us and will safeguard jobs for the future.''

The deal includes an agreement with Nissan in South Africa to provide the service and parts for the taxis.

Mr Ramnath first went out to South Africa several years ago in a bid to win business, but talks broke down.

Then, about nine months ago, he got back in contact with businessman Collin Wright who has organised the South African end of the deal.

Mr Wright signed the contract today with London Taxis chairman Jamie Borwick.

South Africa is trying to improve its whole taxi system.

The country hopes the new vehicles will help with plans to make the system safer, better regulated and more accessible, in the major cities and at airports.

Mr Wright and Mr Ramnath spoke with the drivers and fleet managers as well as airport bosses to discover what they wanted.

Mr Ramnath added: ``We have got the full support of the Mayor of Johannesburg and the drivers which is very rewarding."
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Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Williams, Alison
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jan 19, 1999
Words:299
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