Thursday, 3 March 2011

FT: No surprise if New Yorkers’ next cab is Turkish

It would be no surprise if a New Yorker stepped into a taxi manufactured in Turkey a few years from now, the Financial Times (FT) said on Monday.

FT, one of world’s leading business news dailies, stated that Turkey’s Karsan has caused a stir with its eye-catching V1 cab and underlined that it is one of the strongest contenders among three finalists that also include Nissan and Ford in the Taxi of Tomorrow contest held by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC). “Anyone hailing a yellow cab in New York in years to come will have a better than even chance of stepping into a vehicle built not in one of the global car making centers of Detroit, Japan or Germany, but in Turkey,” the FT said in its article “Turkey first off rank for new NY taxis.” The winner of the contest will produce the new taxis of New York City.

If Karsan wins the New York City taxi contest, the Turkish company will manufacture and sell 13,200 vehicles over 10 years, starting from 2014. The deal will cost about $150 million. Karsan’s V1 has a panoramic glass roof and wheelchair ramps on both sides of the vehicle. Ford Motor’s candidate, the Transit Connect van, is also assembled in Turkey creating a greater chance that the next cab a New Yorker catches is Turkish. The third finalist is Nissan’s NV200 van, which is already on European and Asian roads.

Karsan’s design was voted as the most liked visual design among the three finalists by 66 percent of New Yorkers who participated in a poll. Nissan’s proposal was next with 44 percent, while Ford’s Transit Connect van was liked by 38 percent of the participants in the TLC poll, conducted in mid-February.