Black cab maker in talks with partner

The troubled London black cab maker Manganese Bronze started talks with its Chinese partner and largest supplier, Geely, yesterday after its executives flew into Britain. Geely, one of China's largest car makers, said that there had been no request from Manganese for a bailout.

Manganese Bronze suspended trading in its shares on Friday after recalling 400 cabs and halting sales of new vehicles because of a steering fault.

The Chinese group holds a 20 per cent stake in Manganese but has also been helping to finance it by extending trade credit on parts it supplies. This amounted to an effective loan of £18.6m at the end of June. Manganese also has a £11.4m bank debt.

Geely is to halt Volvo car production in Sweden for a week to counter falling demand. Geely bought Volvo from Ford two years ago.

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