The Turkish Karsan V1 was a finalist to be the exclusive taxi cab for the New York city Taxi and Limousine Commission along with the Nissan NV200 minivan and the Ford Transit Connect van. Karsan and Ford were rejected and Nissan’s minivan was selected to be the new taxi model. Many thought Mayor Bloomberg would have chosen Karsan since the company pledged to build the plant that will make its taxi minivans in Brooklyn, N.Y.
The Turkish auto maker’s car was a favorite due to its wheelchair accessibility ramp and its sleek and functional design. Some wondered why the Karsan VI was rejected, especially with the promise of new jobs for the community at the plant in Sunset Park. Concerns were raised about whether the less-experienced company could actually handle such a project. An consultant hired to evaluated the three finalists stated Karsan is “a new manufacturer, with a new manufacturing paradigm, not familiar with the U.S. regulatory framework, with no current sales, service or support infrastructure.” The consultant “fully evaluated the risks and countermeasures required to ensure that their product will deliver and maintain the same level of maturity as that of their competitors over the life of the contract.” The auto manufacturer posed the highest risk out of the three.
Nissan’s NV200 was chosen and will be the official taxi of New York City’s taxi fleet starting in 2013. Mayor Bloomberg felt this was the safest taxi choice. New York City taxis will now for the first time have rear passenger airbags and passed the crash tests. GPS navigation will now also be included in all taxis. The tourist friendly Nissan all have moon roofs and outlets for laptops and cell phones.