Nissan Mulls Options After Judge Blocks New York Taxi Fleet


  • 2014 Nissan NV200 Picture

    2014 Nissan NV200 Picture

    The Big Apple's plan to create a uniform taxi fleet of 2014 Nissan NV200s was struck down by a judge on Tuesday. | October 09, 2013

Just the Facts:
  • Nissan said it is considering its options for "next steps" after a judge on Tuesday put the brakes on New York City's plan for a fleet of 2014 Nissan NV200 taxis.
  • The decision struck down the city's highly touted plan to create a uniform taxi fleet under the "Taxi of Tomorrow" initiative.
  • The judge said the notion that the Big Apple should have one exclusive "iconic" New York City taxicab is a policy decision that is reserved for the City Council.

NEW YORK — Nissan said it is considering its options for "next steps" after a judge on Tuesday put the brakes on New York City's plan for a fleet of 2014 Nissan NV200 taxis.

The decision struck down the city's highly touted plan to create a uniform taxi fleet under the "Taxi of Tomorrow" initiative. The cabs had been expected to debut on New York City streets by the end of October. The initiative has been described as one of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's signature transportation efforts.

Justice Shlomo S. Hagler of the State Supreme Court in Manhattan said the notion that the Big Apple should have one exclusive "iconic" New York City taxicab is a policy decision that is reserved for the City Council. Opponents of the Taxi of Tomorrow had likened it to Bloomberg's push to ban large sugary drinks.

"We are disappointed in the court's decision, but it will not prevent our plan to start upgrading the NYC taxi fleet with the Nissan Taxi of Tomorrow at the end of the month," wrote David P. Reuter, a Nissan spokesman, in response to an Edmunds query. "Given the specific NYC taxi research and development that we have conducted, we are confident that the Nissan taxi provides optimal safety, comfort and convenience for passengers and drivers alike. We are evaluating options for next steps regarding the exclusivity contract."

Justice Hagler wrote that the power to force cab owners to buy the Nissan NV200 "does not exist in the City Charter."

Media reports pegged Nissan's 10-year taxi contract with the city at an estimated $1 billion.

The Japanese automaker plowed considerable resources into the development of the taxi.

Nissan created its own "New York Avenue" at its Arizona proving grounds to replicate the harsh conditions of New York City streets to test the NV200 taxi. The vehicle's suspension was tuned specifically to NYC road conditions.

Additionally, Nissan hired New York City cab drivers to drive test vehicles around the city, collecting data that was then used to refine the vehicle. In total, the drivers logged more than 155,000 miles — enough to cover every street in Manhattan more than 300 times.

Edmunds says: The fight over the Big Apple's fleet of 2014 Nissan NV200 taxis is far from over.

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