Nissan Motor Co. has vowed to continue selling taxis in New York this month despite a ruling by the New York State Supreme Court voiding its exclusive contract with the city. According to New York State Supreme Court Judge Shlomo Hagler, the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission "exceeded its authority" by awarding the Japanese carmaker the contract to exclusively provide all taxis for the next 10 years.
Hagler voided the new city rule that would require taxi companies and drivers to buy only the Nissan NV200 van, starting late this month. The multi-year, exclusive deal is part of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's "Taxi of Tomorrow" concept.
Bloomberg eyes a fleet of thousands of identical, purpose-built taxis serving New York to showcase the city to millions of tourists a year. Nissan has praised the New York contract as the cornerstone of a plan to market high-profile taxis to cities globally.
The court decision stems from a case against the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission filed in August by the Greater New York Taxi Association.
The judge ruled that the commission did not have the authority to contract with "a third party vendor to manufacture a vehicle that would be the exclusive taxi for the City of New York for the next ten years and medallion owners will be mandated to purchase."
Nissan, however, is not deterred by the ruling, saying that the decision will not prevent plans to start upgrading the NYC taxi fleet with the Nissan Taxi of Tomorrow at the end of September.