Nissan's Taxi Gets the Nod
May 3rd, 2011
Following a competition, the city has selected the Nissan NV200 as the Taxi of Tomorrow, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced today. This means the city will begin working with Nissan to develop the vehicle and make it New York’s exclusive cab.
Nissan beat out the other two finalists — Ford, which builds the city’s current taxis, and Karsan, a Turkish company. Karsan’s bid had won the backing of Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and others since the company pledged to build a factory to manufacture the cabs in Sunset Park and was the one finalist whose vehicle had a wheelchair ramp.
However the city reportedly decided that Karsan was an untested company that might not to be able to deliver the stylish cabs its submission promised.
Markowitz, along with fellow Brooklynite and city Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, have asked City Comptroller John Liu to investigate a possible conflict of interest that may have given Nissan an unfair advantage. They charge that Ricardo Inc., which prepared a report for the city casting doubt on Karsan’s ability to deliver the taxis, also had done work for Ford and Nissan. ” Ricardo Inc. played an important role in the selection of the finalists for the ĎTaxi of Tomorrow,í and these prior relationships could have slanted the selection as finalists in Nissanís and Fordís favor,” the letter says.
In its announcement, the city praised the Nissan vehicle, a small van not currently sold in the U.S. for its safety and comfort. In its release the city did not mention where the new cabs might be manufactured, but the Wall Street Journal reports that taxis will be assembled in Nissan’s Cuernavaca, Mexico plant.By Gail Robinson on May 3, 2011, 1:53 pm
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