Just yesterday, we reported that one of the finalists for New York’s Taxi of Tomorrow, the V1 model by Turkish automaker Karsan, would be built in Brooklyn, creating up to 800 local jobs. Unfortunately, the good news was short lived. The Taxi and Limousine Commission has rejected the model, based on a study that found that the design was too high risk. The New York Times reports that “a review raised concerns about whether the Turkish company, untested in the American market, could reliably execute the high-concept product it had designed.” This leaves the Ford Transit Connect and the Nissan NV200 as possible choices. Mayor Bloomberg is expected to announce the winner sometime this week.
The news is a bit disheartening considering that the Karsan was the people’s choice, the only design with wheelchair access, and the only model that would have been made in the United States. Officials have called the Ford Transit Connect “uninspired” and have criticized it for only getting 21 miles per gallon. The Nissan model looks a little more spacious, but it does not have wheelchair access. Neither would be made in the States.
In a statement, Karsan said that it was unaware of the report, which was released prematurely. The city would not comment on the report, but last Friday, Bloomberg hinted at the issues during his radio show when he said, “You’ve got to look at how much experience companies have had in building cars.”