Nissan’s new ‘black cab’ for London will come from Barcelona

nissantaxiNissan has today unveiled what it describes as “the new face of its Taxi for London and says will be “instantly recognisable as one of the capital’s iconic black cabs”.

However, the new London icon (pictured) will be made not in Britain but in Spain, a Nissan spokesman  confirmed to WHIM, although she added that a thus far unconfirmed facility to convert the Barcelona-made NV200 van platform for its “new vision for the famous London Hackney Carriage” would be located in the UK.

The vehicle was first unveiled in August 2012 and Nissan says that in response to feedback from London Mayor Boris Johnson’s office, it has redesigned the vehicle “to better reflect the iconic nature of the traditional black cab”.

The company also insists that its taxi “has been developed for London, in London”, by Nissan Design Europe (NDE) in Paddington, the same design centre responsible for its Qashqai and Juke models. The new taxi, powered by a ‘clean’ 1.6-litre petrol engine and equipped with an automatic gearbox will be launched in December 2014. A zero emission electric version will arrive in 2015.

The Nissan will be head-to-head competition for the conventional TX4 London black cab now owned by the Chinese company Geely, which rescued its Coventry-based manufacturer from administration almost a year ago and re-started its production in the Midlands in September.

Nissan has some historic connection to the London taxi market with its 2.7-litre TD27 diesel engine being fitted to the FX4 ‘Fairway’ and TX1 black cabs during the 1980s and ‘90s

Nissan’s Andy Palmer said the company had worked closely with the Mayor’s office and others “to ensure that Nissan’s new cab not only raises the bar for both driver and passenger, but is also as instantly-recognisable as its legendary forebears”.

He continued, “Alongside this, our engineers at Nissan Technical Centre Europe in Cranfield, Bedfordshire, have continued work on the cab, running real-world trials on the streets of London.”

Copyright Ken Hurst 2014

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About Ken Hurst

Ken Hurst began his career as a journalist in London over 30 years ago, working on a range of publications before moving on to weekly newspaper production in the newly-independent Zambia of the 1970s. He returned to the UK where his work included spells on newspapers and magazines, before moving to head up Norwich Union’s corporate affairs division. In the 1990s he moved on to freelance, co-own and publish the B2B audio magazine Sound and front the BBC radio Yesterday’s Papers programme. There followed six years as Business Editor at Britain’s biggest selling regional daily newspaper, The Eastern Daily Press, where he led an award-winning team and for whom he still writes a weekly socio/political comment column. Subsequently, he was Group Editorial Director at CBM, responsible for its UK and US magazine output – including The Manufacturer magazine – research-driven industry reports and live events content. Currently he is Contributing Editor at Works Management magazine publisher Findlay Media and Chairman of the consumer publishing house TNT Multimedia Ltd. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the British Association of Communicators in Business.
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