Australian commuters can now hail the iconic “black cab”!
Our Cousins Down Under will now be able to hail an iconic black London cab, as a test sample of 98 white used factory demonstrator “hot-climate” TX4s arrive in Australia. The instantly recognisable white TX4s will be plying for hire on the streets of Perth within the next three weeks as part of a trial to test whether any modifications may be needed to be made to the cabs, prior to the full rollout next year of a further 200 new cabs ordered for Australia.

The cabs are already causing a stir, with drivers, passengers and the media clamouring for more information. Chief Executive of The London Electric Vehicle Company (Aust.) Limited, Sole Australian and NZ Distributor of London Taxi products, Evan Simeon said: “The response has been phenomenal. We couldn’t have asked for a better welcome.One Perth operator who purchased a fleet of the 50 bright, white used TX4s has already had a stampede of drivers who want to be the first ones to buy a cab and partake in the trial.

“We’ve had a lot of positive interest from ex-pats, both prospective customers and drivers; what has been especially gratifying are the offers from ex-pat London Taxi drivers who not only want to buy one, but have also offered their services to train our Australian drivers on everything from the service to vehicle operation.”

With the additional Australian order for 200 new vehicles Evan has confirmed that the State of Victoria may well be the next destination to welcome the global icon in 2014.

Perth drivers will receive a government-funded package, which in return for vehicle and usage data, will see them reimbursed for the normal weekly licence fee of AUS$200 for the first four years of ownership.This basically means that they will recoup most of the total cost of the vehicle. Victoria has already announced that they will provide a subsidy of AUS$20,000 per vehicle for the first fifty permit holders, so we hope that we’ll be able to bring a bit of London to South-East Australia too.”

“When you have a look at the majority of current existing taxis, they are converted sedans which were not built to be cabs and therefore they are simply not fit for the purpose.The beauty of the London Taxi TX4 is that it is the only global vehicle built to be as a cab, so we anticipate that they will be a lot of demand for it across Australia.”, Evan added.

Perth drivers will be able to choose to either lease, lease to buy or buy a vehicle outright. Anticipated cost per vehicle is approximately AUS$55,000 including radios, camera/surveillance units and payments systems. The TX4 will be granted a 10 life as a taxi, up from 6 years for a converted sedan.

The TX4s will be kitted out with feedback books for drivers, whilst passengers will be encouraged to visit a dedicated website to give the Sole Distributor and the Perth Department of Transport their comments and views on the cab. This feedback will be used for any possible engineering changes to suit Australian conditions and customer requests ahead of a full Australia-wide rollout.

Commenting on this latest export sales success story, International Sales Director, Matthew Cheyne said: “This is an exciting new market for us and it’s just the beginning. We will continue to work closely with Evan to deliver the London Taxi, and the London Taxi Service successfully into Australia.

Australia currently has a driver training programme; however, Evan informs us that he has already had commitment from government officials that they are now seeking to implement a more robust, intensive course, similar to the Knowledge that professional London Taxi drivers undertake in the UK.

“We will continue to support him as it is integral to the entire proposition – a TX4 is nothing without a professional driver behind the wheel. Together they provide an iconic service, and that’s exactly what we sell worldwide. It’s wonderful news that yet another country recognises just how great this package is.”

The London Electric Vehicle Company also support all of their export market franchises with full after-sales,
genuine parts and warranty assistance, ensuring vehicles are properly managed and well maintained.

Western Australian Government Transport Minister Troy Buswell said the trial was part of his Taxi Action Plan which aimed to improve the security, standards and availability of Perth taxis,
and that the purpose-built taxis were designed and manufactured specifically to improve safety, comfort and accessibility.

This latest deal follows a suite of export sales orders for the Coventry-based International team. Matthew added, “Sales have never been so good. We’re currently manufacturing vehicles for Saudi Arabia and UAE, and we are expecting orders from Azerbaijan which already has 1,000 TX4s in-situ.”