jones_supa writes: "London’s black cabs, built to the same design for 54 years, are heading towards extinction as their manufacturer fights bankruptcy. Manganese Bronze Holdings PLC, which has made taxis in Coventry, England, since 1948, entered administration last month after a Chinese tie-up failed to yield savings, and 400 of its cabs, the TX4 model, were recalled with steering faults. Ready to take over the market are the Mercedes-Benz Vito and Nissan Motor Co’s NV200, which are based on commercial vans. London has almost 23,000 licensed taxis — those that can legally be hailed in the street. About 1,400 new ones are registered each year, according to Manganese Bronze, a market worth about £50M annually. The company says it has supplied more than 100,000 taxis over the past five decades."