Much like India, the Nissan NV200 found limited takers as the new New York City Taxi with only 500 units sold since the contract was awarded to Nissan in 2011.
Nissan NV200 (Evalia in India) was one of the much raved products that first went on sale in the US. The automaker was quick to spread some good word about the MPV that went on to become the ‘New York City Taxi of Tomorrow’, being awarded the exclusive contract for ten years in 2011. However, much like its fate in India, the NV200 could not lift up in sales right from the start with as less as just 500 units sold as taxis in the past years, far short of the number originally expected. Now, in a bid to restore the lost image and buck up sales, Nissan plans to re-introduce the NV200 and make it more noticeable among cab drivers.
Despite spacious interiors and a frugal engine, customers in India could not get past the boxy styling seen on the Nissan Evalia. In addition, the model comes with sliding doors which do provide easy ingress and egress but also rob the MPV of its car like appearance. Moreover, the Evalia comes with smaller windows which cannot be opened completely and add a utilitarian feel that is hard to get past. In the US however, the NV200 has been facing some new issues altogether. Being exclusively awarded the contract brought in some backlash from the Greater New York Taxi Association as it caused the inability for driver’s to use a competing model of their choice as a taxi.
The Nissan NV200 also happens to be $10,000 (Rs. 6,00,000/-) more expensive than other competing offerings that are currently being used as taxis in the big Apple. There were also talks about the model’s panoramic moonroof being unsafe. Expected to be a major leap over the iconic Ford Crown Victoria and the more recent Toyota Prius that have been used as taxis, the NV200 City Taxi comes with a host of passenger comforts including rear air-con vents, independent reading lights, floor lights, mobile charging station among other features. The driver on the other hand gets 6-way adjustable seating, navigation system, driver and passenger intercom system as well as pre-wiring for taxi PEP system.