- Title: FRANCE/UNITED KINGDOM: London's iconic black cabs make their debut in Paris
- Date: 29th January 2011
- Summary: PARIS, FRANCE (JANUARY 26, 2011) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF THE EIFFEL TOWER VARIOUS OF FRENCH TAXIS WAITING IN LINE MAN TALKING TO THE DRIVER OF A LONDON TAXI ELISABETH YOUNG DRIVING THE LONDON TAXI INTERIOR OF LONDON TAXI WITH FOLD DOWN SEATS LONDON TAXI IN PARISIAN TRAFFIC (SOUNDBITE) (French) ELISABETH YOUNG, PRESIDENT OF LONDON TAXIS FRANCE, SAYING: "It handles very well so in Paris' tight streets, just like in London's, it turns in a great way. I have been incredibly pleased since I started driving it. You can park very well and you can make u-turns virtually on the spot." INTERIOR OF LONDON TAXI (SOUNDBITE) (French) ELISABETH YOUNG, PRESIDENT OF LONDON TAXIS FRANCE, SAYING: "And it has great advantages, as a car, because there are five spaces in the back so people can continue conversations or interactions, be they business or pleasure, knowing also that the noise reducing screen is an important safety aspect for this vehicle." ELISABETH YOUNG SHOWING THE WHEELCHAIR ACCESS RAMP LONDON TAXI PULLING INTO THE TAXI RANK SAMI DJARABI, TAXI DRIVER, WAITING IN HIS TAXI (SOUNDBITE) (French) PARISIAN TAXI DRIVER SAMI DJARABI, SAYING: "Well as long as they don't come here and take all the jobs in Paris, if there are a few, yes why not. But if there's one thousand of them, it's a bit more of problem."
- Embargoed: 13th February 2011 08:08
- Location: France, United Kingdom
- Country: United Kingdom France
- Topics: Lifestyle,Transport
- Reuters ID: LVAF3VS8ZDIAZS800W60LSOEYLV0
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: On a wet and windy afternoon this week (January 26, 2011), Parisians caught a glimpse of what life is like on the other side of the pond as the London Taxi Company hit the streets of paris.
The cult British vehicle has been voted the best taxi in the world for three consecutive years and will be unveiled at the Paris Vintage Car Show on Friday, boasting the same features as its London counterpart.
The manufacturers did remember to shift the wheel to the other side however.
"It has great advantages, as a car, because there are five spaces in the back so people can continue conversations or interactions, be they business or pleasure, knowing also that the noise reducing screen is an important safety aspect for this vehicle," said Elisabeth Young, President of London Taxis France.
The car, which can hold up to five people in the back, separate luggage in the front and a neatly tucked wheelchair ramp, has already found 10 buyers on French soil. Young hopes many more will be sold, especially for use as proper taxis.
Although at 33,900 euros, the cab doesn't come cheap.
As of 2009, the London Taxi Company has been in a joint venture with the Geely Holding Group, which produces British cabs in China with a production capacity of approximately 300,000 units a year. Cabs sold in the UK are still produced in Coventry however.
The British cab is known for its manoeuvrability, particularly when navigating through tight corners, but failed to turn heads with the same ease.
"Well as long as they don't come here and take all the jobs in Paris, if there are a few, yes why not. But if there's one thousand of them, it's a bit more of problem," said Sami Djarabi, a French taxi driver.
London cabs are widely considered to be part of the country's heritage and the 'knowledge', the entrance exam to gain access to the age-old fraternity, is reputedly difficult and takes years to achieve.
"I think it's a good thing, I think promoting the iconic vehicle of London all over the world may increase taxi trade in London but also, you know, this vehicle has been around for 50-odd years," a London cabbie said.
If many British traditions don't sway the Parisians, the cab's sellers hope the wide range of colours will make them a success.
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