High court says Nissan-New York taxicab deal is null and void

Article by Anita Panait, on May 27, 2013

The New York State Supreme Court has ruled that a contract for Nissan to exclusively supply the New York Taxi & Limousine Commission with a taxicab as "null, void and unenforceable." This is primarily because under the contract, New York’s taxi commission was to receive a vehicle that is available as a hybrid, and the Nissan NV200 compact van chosen as the city’s exclusive taxicab and is due to launch in October 2013 is not a hybrid.

Nissan assured New York that it will start building a hybrid version of the NV200 taxi in 2015. But Nissan’s assurance was not enough to persuade New York State Supreme Court Justice Peter Moulton not to nullify the contract. Nissan, however, is unfazed by the development.

Nissan Americas spokesman David Reuter remarked that the New York State Supreme Court ruling does not mean that Nissan's Taxi of Tomorrow contract is nullified. He said the ruling means that New York cab companies and drivers will have to be provided with a plan to opt for a hybrid vehicle at the moment.

The full contract was seen to lead to sales of only 13,000 to 25,000 NV200 taxi over the next 10 years. Nissan is counting on the contract, which valued at around $1 billion, to showcase the Nissan brand to New Yorkers and tourists. The New York Taxi & Limousine Commission is set to meet on June 20, 2013 to approve rules that would guide cab companies on acquiring hybrid models.

It is quite safe to say that the iconic yellow cab has been considered a symbol of New York City throughout the globe. Now, Nissan is launching the first full vehicle prototype of the 2014 Nissan NV200 Taxi in New York. Dubbed as New York's Taxi of Tomorrow, the new 2014 Nissan NV200 Taxi was unveiled in SoHo by Nissan President and Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn and New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

Once the Nissan NV200 Taxi finishes its duty at the launch event, it would be displayed at the Jacob Javits Center during the 2012 New York International Auto Show, from April 6 to 15.

Ghosn remarked during the launch event that the Nissan NV200 Taxi marks a new era of urban mobility in New York. He quipped that the new Nissan NV200 Taxi draws on the global experience of the Japanese carmaker in commercial vehicles, with important inputs – mostly in terms of improvements -- from taxi drivers and passengers in New York City. Ghosn added that the exclusive Taxi of Tomorrow would bring a whole new level of comfort as well as innovation to around 600,00 daily taxi passengers in New York City.

Following a two-year competitive bid selection process, the Nissan NV200 Taxi was picked by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) in May 2011 as New York City’s exclusive taxi starting late 2013. The design of the Taxi of Tomorrow was developed with inputs from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and the Design Trust for Public Space and Smart Design.

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