Just as it appeared that things would calm down a bit and a some normality would return to the pre-owned cab market, Mayor Sadiq Khan dreams up a proposal to reduce the age limit to 12 years and freezes the market totally!
What were they thinking at City Hall? They are well aware the dealers are not taking part exchanges and that anyone with a cab between three and 10 years old is struggling to sell it in order to buy a TXe; yet they still do this! Three sales were lost on the day it was announced. One driver actually called us to discuss cancelling his purchase on the morning he was due to pick up a late Vito.
Even though I explained that Euro VI cabs will still stay at 15 years he was having none of it. “That’s for now,” he said, “but what about if they change their mind again next year?” He has a point.
How can anyone buy a cab and run a business when these buffoons make snap announcements like this without any discussions or a cost impact assessment?
I estimate that some of the bigger dealers, which hold a lot of stock, lost on average £8k per cab (older cabs less, newer cabs more) as a result of this announcement.
That’s not even the bad news. That’s still to come, as we wait and see if anyone buys anything until we know what’s happening when. It will be interesting to see if it affects sales of the TXe – which would surely run counter to the mayor’s intention to clean up London’s air.
Once again TXe sales were good in December, with 166 new cabs joining the ranks. However, if existing owners cannot sell, they can’t buy, and how long can LEVC maintain their current phenomenal sales numbers once the queue of ex-renters and butterboys run out?