LONDON (Bloomberg) -- London Taxi Company, which builds the UK capital's iconic black cabs, is taking legal action against a low-emission alternative, saying the similar design would confuse drivers and customers.
The company said the Metrocab plug-in hybrid breached its trademarks. Frazer-Nash Research and Ecotive said last month they would start production of the new Metrocab in 2016, in partnership with privately held manufacturer Multimatic Holdings.
"It is actually all about the shape," said Douglas Campbell, a lawyer for the London Taxi Company, at a London court hearing ahead of a November trial.
London Taxi Company's owner, China’s Geely Automobile Holdings, is investing 250 million pounds ($387 million) in a new factory in Coventry, England, to build a greener plug-in hybrid version of its new black cab.
Frazer-Nash Research and Ecotive are building a 50 million-pound factory near Coventry.
"The identity of the manufacturer of the car is a matter of supreme indifference to the passenger," Frazer-Nash said in documents at a London court hearing.