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Tradition is so over rated.:grin:



June 15, 2015 15:16 CET
LONDON (Bloomberg) -- London Taxi Company, which builds the UK capital's iconic black cabs, is taking legal action against a low-emission alternative, saying the similar design would confuse drivers and customers.

The company said the Metrocab plug-in hybrid breached its trademarks. Frazer-Nash Research and Ecotive said last month they would start production of the new Metrocab in 2016, in partnership with privately held manufacturer Multimatic Holdings.

"It is actually all about the shape," said Douglas Campbell, a lawyer for the London Taxi Company, at a London court hearing ahead of a November trial.

London Taxi Company's owner, China’s Geely Automobile Holdings, is investing 250 million pounds ($387 million) in a new factory in Coventry, England, to build a greener plug-in hybrid version of its new black cab.

Frazer-Nash Research and Ecotive are building a 50 million-pound factory near Coventry.

"The identity of the manufacturer of the car is a matter of supreme indifference to the passenger," Frazer-Nash said in documents at a London court hearing.


The Metrocab, pictured, is planned for launch next year.




Officials at the London Taxi Company declined to comment. A spokesman for Frazer-Nash didn't immediately respond to emails and phone calls seeking comment.

London Mayor Boris Johnson announced last year that all of the city's new taxis should be able to operate as zero-emission vehicles by 2018 as part of efforts to reduce pollution.

Drivers of black cabs must pass a four-year training program called the "knowledge" to demonstrate their understanding of the city's 25,000 streets. Each cab driver essentially runs a small business, buying or renting vehicles, licensed by London's transport authority.

The London Taxi Company manufactures the majority of black cabs. Frazer-Nash's zero-emission Metrocab is currently undergoing trials in the city.
 
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