The city of New York has chosen Nissan as the supplier for the next generation of taxi cabs. This decision will give Nissan an exclusive 10-year contract for the city’s massive fleet totaling 13,200 taxis.
The Nissan design was chosen over the Ford Transit Connect van as well as a design from Turkish builder Karzan. The Nissan fleet will slowly replace the Ford Crown Victorias as well as the hybrid Ford Escapes.
The Nissan van is based on the NV200, a model Nissan sells in both Europe and Asia and only recently brought to market here.
Selecting just one automaker and just one vehicle has its opponents with owners of big taxi fleets saying they don’t want to be stuck using only one model. Advocates for the disabled, meanwhile, oppose any vehicle that isn’t wheelchair accessible. Only Karsan’s entry met that criteria although Ford and Nissan both offered the ability to make some of their vehicles wheelchair accessible.
The decision to go with Nissan is a major loss for Ford’s plan to offer the new Transit Connect as a taxi in New York. Furthermore, none of the three competitors are currently built in the United States. The NV200 is, however, slated to be built in Mexico. Close enough?