Saturday, August 02, 2014

Eco City Vehicles blames Boris and Uber for sales slump

ON YER BIKE - Boris Johnson wants to force out diesels with daily charges within a ultra low or zero emission zone in London.

Not really a policy designed to make Taxi Drivers rush out and buy a new Vehicle. Not one vehicle currently on sale would be exempt from the new tax, being implemented on the 1st January 2020, just over 5 years away.

Eco City Vehicles (LON:ECV) have seen their shares slumped after a warning revenues were down 33% in the first six months of 2014.

The firm, which supplies London’s licensed reduced emissions Mercedes Vito taxis, blamed the controversial Uber app and Mayor Boris Johnson’s environmental proposals. It said the trading environment remained challenging due to the uncertainties caused by those two factors.

Johnson’s proposals include daily charges on diesel vehicles within a zero or ‘ultra low’ emissions zone in central London. 

It could become the latest squeeze on cabbies who claim their businesses are being eroded by TfL's unfair bias towards the operation of the Uber app.

Eco City has also warned investors that more funding would be required during 2014, and it is reviewing strategic option - excluding the sale of the company.
On AIM, the share was down 36% at 0.42p today.

Editorial Comment:
With uncertainty surrounding the implementation of the diesel vehicle surcharge, looming in 2020, would anyone in their right mind, really consider spending the best part of 50k, on a new Taxi that will almost certainly be replaced by a vehicle with a completely different engine in the very near future?

Why hasn't the Vito Taxi been future proofed, by the addition of the Bluetec system which Mercedes have been fitting to S type limos for some years?

What is it they are waiting for?


Anonymous said...

I'm surprised you have published this absolute bulls#*t put out by Eco City Vehicles. The Vito is unreliable, doesn't meet the CoF and is grossly overpriced.

The rear wheel steer isn't fit for service which is why Manchester discontinued it from their own CoF requirements.

The side steps are notorious for failing, as are the electric doors.

Any one of the above items fail and you are looking at grand plus to fix it.

KPM service department is an absolute disgrace, they failed to rectify my RWS problems - over a thee year period my cab was in their workshop over 25 times with RWS problems. KPM after sales is something no cab driver should have to experience!

If Eco City Vehicles had any faith in the Vito they would have extended the warranty to five years... Ask yourself why they never did it???

Eco City Vehicles are going bust because the Defra report exposed euro four and five vehicles as the major polluters.

The Vito price tag is another contributing factor that makes the vehicle economically un viable.

Don't expect to read the truth about the Vito in the trade press, it simply won't happen!

Anonymous said...

The bluetec system is based around SCR which doesn't respond and work efficiently in an urban drive cycle, resulting in toxic gasses such as ammonia directly into the air. This was covered in the research done by Kings College and published by DEFRA.

Anonymous said...

I can understand the beef taxi drivers and this blog have with Uber/ TfL enforcement etc...

But I can't understand the worries about ULEZ when the ULEZ-proof, relatively-cheaper Nissan is about to hit the market anyway...

Does this blog know something re: Nissan problems that isn't public?

It seems cabbies should just wait until December then buy the Nissan then ULEZ etc... is irrelevant?

It's also meant to be around 30k so cheaper than both TX4 and Vito anyway...

Or is there some problem with it?

Anonymous said...

I bet buses will still be allowed to pollute

Anonymous said...

A lot of self proclaimed experts leaving comments on this blog lately!

The AdBlue system is currently used to regenerate the DPF in the Mecedes S class. Mercedes are proclaiming these BlueTec vehicles as the cleanest diesels saying the new 3lt 6 cylinder twin tubo diesel will meet Euro 6 standard.

Anonymous said...

The Nissan vehicle is likely to be fitted with a cvt auto box,never used in a taxi vehicle.
This could be the design problem to let it down.These gearboxes are weird to drive and not known for high mileages.

Anonymous said...

As a yb I can't even afford a milk float ffs

londoncabby1965 said...

I have a Nissan Qashqai with the 2.0 CVT Gearbox. Dont agree at all that its "weird" to drive !!!

Put your foot down and it goes, put your foot down further and it goes faster.

See ......

Now will it stand up to London Taxi work ... that I cant say but driving with it is seamless and a joy.

Anonymous said...

You guys will pay up but watch the Embassies bet they will not

Mike Canty said...

I haven't read this column for a while, but upon reading what's been written I have to reply to the anonymous people that tell me what I should do, but actually do nothing themselves. It's easier to knock others who do.

People that say " the cabs not fit for purpose, put it off the road." Well what good would that do, when 600 TX went off the road hundreds of drivers where out of work, is that what you want because that's the easy thing to do put 4000 Vito's off the road ? Think before you say make a comment please.

I asked MB, TFL, and Boris to bring the cabs up to MB standard and make them " fit for purpose " this they are now doing, I have never wavered from this opinion.
The Merc is the best cab on the road, but the Penzo parts are defective, FACT.
it took time, but the final phase actuators and ECUs finish testing this month.
They tell me it's good, It is the last chance to get this inherently faulty system right.

Anonymous said...

The Mercedes Vito is the best airport shuttle vehicle that has been made - unfortunately, it has consistently failed to make the grade as a working taxi under the current CoF - Manchester reviewed the rear wheel steering issue and scrapped the requirement from their own CoF, mainly because it is dangerous.

As written earlier, there are elements in the trade that want the CoF issue concerning the Mercedes Vito broomed under the carpet. I myself want them out in the open and the trade organisations to start telling it how it is.

Ps, I can't see a single comment that says the Vito should be scrapped. If anything there is agreement that the Vito doesn't and never has conformed to TfL's CoF!

Anonymous said...

The Vito should be scrapped; they are more polluting than the Fairways and TX1s which have already been scrapped because they caused too much pollution.
In fact they were cleaner than the Vitos as we all know.

If taxi drivers are stupid enough or just plain self interested to allow TFL to do whatever they want then they deserve everything they get

Anonymous said...

You will find the shocking truth about the Mercedes Vito.

Google: super cabby kpm rear wheel steering...

There you find 90+ disturbing comments left by angry and frustrated Vito owners.

The CoF for the Mercedes Vito RWS and steps needs to scrapped - the comments left on super cabby's blog are a damning testimony that support the CoF for the Vito needs to be reviewed immediately!

Anonymous said...

This is how Mercedes Benz politely told me to f##k off when my vehicle was just outside of warranty - I had been corresponding with them for months about the inability of KPM to fix the RWS unit on my Vito... and this is why I will NEVER buy another Mercedes vehicle... nice people eh ?


Whilst we can understand your frustration with this matter, we can advise,
that your vehicle was supplied by Mercedes-Benz UK as a Vito 111CDi
Traveliner Compact Euro 4 to KPM UK Taxis. KPM UK Taxis arranged the
conversion of this vehicle into a Vito Taxi prior to sale and therefore any
issues related to this conversion will need to be discussed with KPM.

Yours sincerely,

Xxxxx Xxxx

irving lomon said...

We have told MB senior management what owners would like from the next Vito taxi. We already know that it will have stop/start tech, blind spot tech, 20% better MPG etc, but we also want a simplified fleet option with...........

Front wheel steer
Manual doors with windows, or auto doors with sunroof fitted as optional extras.
Fixed or running board steps
Better intercom system, and radio.
And of course a price tag that competes with other
We expect to pay a bit more for a Merc but not £12000 more than the projected price of the cheapo
Nissan cab at £32000

This is what we and our members are saying
"Get rid of the expensive components that put us in the workshop, and reduce the price tag, then you will sell more cabs"


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Anon 4:28

Whilst I sympathise with your financial dilemma of not being able to afford a milk float, I don't think yellow badges are permitted to use them anyway, besides, the turning circle is atrocious!!

On the upside, if you could find a partner to go half flat with, I'm sure Tfl would fall over themselves to licence it as a PHV; what with the electric motor and lack of doors for design faults to develop in. It might become the new vogue among the current rickshaw drivers to upgrade to this executive and less tiring version!!

I'll be keeping my eyes open for a your float doing the roundels.

Anonymous said...

I notice that Messrs Lowmon and Canty have run for the hills with their tails between their legs...

They are ball less and without a strategy...

Pacifists masquerading as activists... But then again the LCDC has a massive influence on what these two jokers do!

Mike Canty said...

In answer to the once again " Anonymous " one who says that we have no balls or strategy, but doesn't have the courage to print his own name.

Why does Taxi leaks allow anyone to talk rubbish about others anonymously on this blog, it diminishes an otherwise good medium.

Irving Lomon left us to live a peaceful life two months ago, and good luck to him.
Now back to the serious issues.

MB senior management tell us that the new rear steer components currently being tested will be ready to pass homologation late this month.

Mike Canty Vito Taxi Club said...

The VitoTaxiClub is a completely independent club.

We have nothing to do with trade unions or organisations
I personally am a member of the LCDC and UNITE
I was a member of the LTDA for ten years until they intervened and broke the strike at Heathrow in the 80s
I could never rejoin them after that, but I think they have a good leader with Steve Mac now.
Unions work better in unison rather than division, as proved in recent actions.

If any person writing in under an anonymous identity,
have a hidden agenda. Destructive rather than
constructive, and not worth reading.

Anonymous said...

Ok, Mike,you are dodging the issues by making the issue as personal as possible.
Lets stick to the issues.

You claim to represent Vito owners; you also claim the Vito is the best cab ever made...

Firstly, you don't work your cab on the streets you work the airport.

Secondly, how many of your members operate their cabs with the RWS disabled... Don't bother answering, because we all know the answer already!

Thirdly, you are taking money from cab drivers and under representing them. You are petrified to deal with the real issue that the RWS on the Vito isn't fit for purpose and doesn't meet the CoF.

Now, would you like to answer a question about the CoF of the Vito RWS and the 100+ comments posted by frustrated Vito owners?

Mike Canty said...

I've never dodged a question, now you answer mine.
I give my own opinions openly, no one has to join us
It's done through choice. We charge a minimum fee.
We told TFL exactly what is happening with these cabs
when no one else would last year.
There are over 4000 Vito's out there with only around 400 working Heathrow, so where do you think the other 3600 work ?

Now Anonymous your turn to answer, last chance.
1. Why are you hiding behind " anonymous "?
2. What is your hidden agenda, if all you do is criticise
Mercedes cabs then who do you represent ?
3. I have told you where I am coming from, what
about you doing the same.

Anonymous said...

Jim you are still allowing them to slag off and slander people anonymously I see.

Anonymous said...

My comments about Vito components and how the Vito consistently fails the CoF criteria are relevant; who I am isn't.

I do not have a hidden agenda. However, I would like to see the electric steps and RWS removed from the CoF in London, as they are not fit for purpose - I can hear you from here sucking the air through your teeth.Telling TfL about the problems with the Vito is one thing; campaigning for meaningful changes are a different story altogether.

The blog comments I asked you to review and the problems drivers are having with substandard parts are NO better today than they were four years ago.FACT!

Sorry Mike, but after shelling out for new actuators and other parts that keep failing- I am hardly extatic to hear Mercedes have a new box of junk parts to waste more of my money on. You are gonna have to come up with something better than "trust me!"

You might not like my comments; but I bet there are plenty of drivers out there that do.

Did you bother to read the excerpt from the email MB sent me when my warranty had just run out - and KPM's inablity to fix my RWS problem?

Being nice as pie with these ar##holes has got you nowhere.

Be lucky.

Anonymous said...

Mark, thought you didn't read Taxi Leaks anymore?

Editorial said...

Not as anonymous as some people think!

Mike Canty said...

Anonymous, come out from hiding and print your name then.
In your own words " stop running for the hills with your tail between your legs " and "have the balls" to put your name to what you write whilst in hiding.
You criticise us for what we do, but we have told them all exactly what you have said to their faces, not hiding away anonymously in the distance like yourself. They all know exactly what has been going on.

Our strategy has been to negotiate with manufacturer, and dealerships and get the problems put right without putting 4000 drivers out of work.
Your's would be to attack them ( anonymously of course, and from a safe distance, putting the cabs off the road. Brilliant!! how long did it take you to devise that plan, and what will you say to the drivers once
that happens ? Oh no of course no one will know who you are.

If this fix does not work ( I have seen it, and it looks good) then as I have told them it is the last chance with this system, and I agree it will then have to go.
Neither we or MB are happy with the length of time it has taken to bring this about, but it is nearly here.

I have asked the CEO of CityVehicles to contact the Euro4 owners when it works on Euro 5 it will work on all Vito's. He said he will do this when that time arrives.
We will see.
This One80 system has always been inherently defective on both vehicles, fact.

I agree wholeheartedly about the steps.
They work on one electric ram in the centre of step,
every engineer we speak to says it requires one hydraulic ram either side of each step.
We want a manual or running board step in next cab.

You are trying to chage COF, and that's a different matter altogether which confuses the issue.
Nissan have spent 3 Million on front steer, many believe that they would sue TFL if COF changed.
Most of our trade leaders do not want COF changed, it would open the floodgates to poor quality cabs, and we would lose our identity.
We need just a few good identifiable models.

Editorial said...

Mike if you don't like being critiqued, then don't post comments. If you poke your head up out of the trench, then expect to get shot at.

The way this platform works is, it is set up to accept all comments anonymous and otherwise. This is not down to Taxi Leaks policy, but is the way Google blogger is set up.

We either accept this or don't let anyone post comment, something we have no intention of doing.

We can't turn off anonymous access.

Also it is not our job to sort out the good comments from the critical. We do however try to moderate profanity and most insults...some however do get through. We have a policy to remove any comment that receives a complaint (without question)

Funny though when we posted your article in good faith, which promoted your own personal agenda, we were the good guys. After a dubious comment which could have been removed if you had asked, you attack my editorial staff and we become the bad guy.

Most of the troll inspired flamings seen in our comment sections are simply promoting political gain or in many cases a blatant attempt at discrediting the blog it's self. We have proof that some conversations between green and yellow badges have come from the same IP address.

The majority of our readers are fine with the set up and so far, in all the years we've been doing this, only had two drivers complain about the system.

As I have said many times Mike, we will remove any comment that we receive a justifiable complaint over.

Anonymous said...

Ok Mr Canty, this will be my
last comment on this subject - the reason... You are deviously manipulating what I have said - you have sunk to the lowest possible level, "SCAREMONGERING",
claiming my intentions are to put cab drivers out of work. This is a gross manipulation of my comments!


Our strategy has been to negotiate with manufacturer, and dealerships and get the problems put right without putting 4000 drivers out of work.
Your's would be to attack them ( anonymously of course, and from a safe distance, putting the cabs off the road."
This is scaremongering if I have ever seen it!

Another manipulation and play with words are quote:

"Most of our trade leaders do not want COF changed, it would open the floodgates to poor quality cabs, and we would lose our identity".

This is absolutely priceless... as the Vito hits the bottom when it comes to poor quality!

Our trade leaders... What trade leaders?

We haven't got ONE with any commitment to our industry, if anything, the dire situation the trade is experiencing today is a direct consequence of their by partisan action to agree to anything TfL has demanded over the last five years!

I NEVER said the CoF should be scrapped... ONLY the Vito RWS and steps were mentioned.

It is my opinion your strategy will inventively cost Vito owners dearly - all probabilities say that KPM will go bust and the Vito Taxi with RWS will be discontinued.

This is not the first time Vito owners have been promised quality assured components to be fitted to a system that Manchester Council decommissioned because it was "not fit for service".

I wonder how many Vito owners would buy another Mercedes Vito from KPM? Would you agree to a Taxi Leaks poll to find out?

Would you agree to poll Vito owners whether they would opt for a one off payment to decommission the electric steps and RWS and get rid as they have in Manchester???

Or opt to carry on shelling out thousands of pounds on components that fail over and over again???

All this because you don't want to answer the question whether the Mercedes Vito RWS and components are fit for service.

Yes, or NO ???

Or better still, lets put it to a vote!

Anonymous said...

Jim I just can't stand the anonymous liars that knock everyone that tries to improve things in our trade,
but do nothing themselves.
In my book "anonymous" means "hidden agenda" or just
knockers like Mark maybe.

Not your fault if the Google blogger allows it though.
Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Mark or Okay Cabbie or Anonymous whatever you want to call yourself.
You have never understood or listened to a word I've said in the past or now.
You do what you say you want to do yourself, and stop asking others to do it for you in your paranoid ramblings.

That's my final word.

Mike Canty said...

We asked MB for a better lease deal on Vitos
Here it is.

3 year lease
£3000 down and £125 a week
Nothing down £145 a week

Based on 30,000 miles. The more miles you do the more it goes up, but it's a good low starting point now.
We believe it is a very fair deal. VitoTaxiClub

Mike Canty VitoTaxiClub said...

In answer to a couple of questions asked us recently.

1. What if KPM goes ? Well the Euro 5 is an MB vehicle and KPM is a dealership. You can get the cab serviced or repaired at any MB commercial dealership.

2. Is KPM going. Well it's not for me to say, you must ask them that one, but according to Tower Hamlets notices the Hemmings street site is up for redevelopment as part of their local housing plan
So they will have to relocate like many other cab garages in this area soon.
Most of their workspace will go if not their showrooms on the other side of the street it seems if this plan goes through.

VitoTaxiClub said...

Euro 4 owners with extended warranty from KPM
Your warranty states that your repair work must be carried out by KPM. This is no longer possible of course so....
Check your Global warranty and contact Global yourselves for refund.
It is fair to assume that you as the operative are entitled to this. You must claim this refund yourself.