Coventry & Warwickshire

Electric taxi-maker LEVC lays off 70 staff

LEVC Image copyright PA
Image caption The company's HQ is at Ansty Park in Warwickshire

Black cab-maker the London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) is to lay off 70 staff.

LEVC, which makes taxis at Ansty Park near Coventry, said it expected 2019 to be a "challenging year".

Workers on temporary contracts will be affected by the changes, the company said.

LEVC said it was "important affected staff are treated in a fair and transparent way".

The London Taxi Company, since renamed LEVC, faced administration in 2013 before China's Zhejing Geely Holding Group stepped in to rescue the firm.

In 2017 the company's £300m Ansty plant opened, creating more than 1,000 jobs.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Prince Charles was given a tour of the assembly lines on Monday

An LEVC spokesman said: "2019 will be a challenging year for UK automotive.

"To prepare the business we are reducing the number of agency staff and making productivity improvements.

"We still expect demand for our premium electric taxi to continue to grow over the coming years."

Prof David Bailey, from Aston Business School in Birmingham, said LEVC might have made a "change in strategy" over plans for the production of a larger commercial van, which it said earlier this month had been delayed until the early 2020s.

Jim O'Boyle, the cabinet member for jobs and regeneration at Coventry City Council, said the latest announcement was "an inevitable response to the economic headwinds faced by the industry."

He added: "This is about remaining fit for the future and I am confident working with trade unions they will handle this both sensitively and professionally."

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