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Even though the last one was produced in 1982 and no working examples are left in the Big Apple, the Checker Motors A11 is still considered the definitive New York taxi cab.
Nissan is hoping that in the 21st century, it’s so-called Taxi of Tomorrow, based on the NV 200 van, will become the next yellow cab icon. In fact, the company is putting together a new marketing campaign for the vehicle, designed to draw attention to the vehicle when it goes on display at the upcoming New York Auto Show, as well as highlighting Nissan’s spirit of innovation.
The NV 200 Taxi campaign, which has an estimated budget between $2-$3 million, will play on typical Big Apple and taxi themes such as “if it [the NV 200] can make it in New York, it can make it anywhere,” and “kept it yellow, changed everything else.”
Other ads for the future taxi play on Nissan’s larger overall marketing strategy, which emphasizes “innovation for all.” Examples include “innovation for NYC,” “the cab that goes to the corner of innovation and cool” and “the future of the auto industry? We’ll take you there.”
Although New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg clearly views the NV 200 as the ideal taxi for America’s largest city; the concept of a nondescript, boxy van (one that’s sold in multiple countries no less) becoming as iconic a symbol of New York as the old Checker, is probably a stretch at best. Nonetheless, you can’t blame Nissan for trying.
[Source: New York Times]
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?