Monday, 16 April 2012

Nissan unveils new yellow cab for NYC

New York City's next generation of yellow cabs will be minivans featuring sliding doors, antibacterial seats, air bags in the back and outlets to charge mobile phones. City officials unveiled the "Taxi of Tomorrow," manufactured by Nissan Motor Co., at the New York International Auto Show on Tuesday. The vehicle, on display to the public from Friday to April 15, was engineered to be durable enough to handle the city's 10,000 km of pothole-riddled streets, according to Nissan officials.

Priced at $29,700, the vehicle will include a transparent roof, fuel-efficient engine, no-hump floors, 25 cm more legroom than a Crown Victoria and more luggage space than most current cabs, according to the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission. They're scheduled to hit New York City's streets by fall 2013."Not only do we get to provide a better experience for its residents and visitors, we get the opportunity to show our brand and product in the most exciting showroom in the world," Carlos Ghosn, chief executive officer of Nissan and Renault SA, said at a Manhattan news conference attended by Mayor Michael Bloomberg late Tuesday.
Nissan expects the cab to be a significant vehicle because of the exposure it will receive as the core NYC taxi, though it won't necessarily be a massive seller in overall units, said Tim Gallagher, a company spokesman.
The city's fleet now consists of 16 models built by nine manufacturers, dominated by Ford Motor Co.'s discontinued Crown Victoria. By 2018, Nissan's NV200 minivan, now sold as a delivery vehicle in Japan and Europe, will be the only cab in the city's fleet and New York City is the only established market for the cabs so far.
The vehicles will be produced in Mexico and fitted for taxi use by American workers, city officials said last May when they chose Nissan over Ford and Turkey's Karsan Otomotiv Sanayi & Ticaret AS.
It is the first New York taxi to be crash-tested with the partition between driver and passengers installed, Mayor Bloomberg said. The sliding doors will protect riders from risking getting clipped by passing traffic, he said.
"This taxi was designed from the inside out and the result is the safest, most comfortable, most passenger-friendly cab to ever ride our streets," Bloomberg said. "For the first time our city will have a cab designed for those who matter most - the passengers and drivers."
The contract is expected to generate $1 billion in revenue for Nissan over the contract's 10 years.

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