Manganese Bronze, the company that makes London black cabs, yesterday said an order from Azerbaijan had been delayed due to financing problems.
The last 500 of a 1,000-strong order will now be delivered to the country by the end of this month instead of last October as planned. This delay and lower UK sales will push the company into a loss for the year, "a disappointment", admitted John Russell, the chief executive .
But Mr Russell reckons this year will be better. A new rule that London cabs should be no older more than 15 years old should lead to a surge in business.
Manganese believes that of the 21,000 black cabs licensed for use in the capital, around 3,000 will need to be put into retirement this year.
A new TX4 taxi costs about £30,000.
The trading update noted there were 328 TX4 sales in the last quarter of 2011, a fall of 15 per cent on a year earlier.
In 2011, the company sold 1,653 vehicles in the UK, down 9 per cent.