Nissan named winner in 'Taxi of Tomorrow' contest

May 3, 2011 9:08:46 AM PDT
Nissan on Tuesday was picked to produce the city's "Taxi of Tomorrow," a minivan that has lots of leg room and can stand up to the city's rough roads.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg made the announcement Tuesday morning at City Hall.

Nissan will get a 10-year contract to produce the NV200, giving the Japanese auto maker exclusive rights to make and sell the city's yellow cabs.

The Nissan NV200 van was described as roomy and durable. It beat out the Ford Transit Connect and the Karsan V1.

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz came out in support of the Karsan after the Turkish auto manufacturer promised to produce the vehicles at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal, potentially bringing 800 jobs.

Markowitz, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Assembly Member Micah Kellner sent a letter to City Comptroller John Liu Tuesday morning calling for an investigation of conflict of interest violations in not selecting the Karsan.

The city's "Taxi of Tomorrow" competition is to replace the city's current taxi fleet with a safer and more environmentally friendly model.

The cab will replace the 16 models now authorized, including the Ford Crown Victoria. The Crown Victoria is the most dominant model on the road, but Ford is halting its production.