Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn and New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg unveiled on Tuesday the Taxi of Tomorrow, the next generation transport vehicle for the Big Apple.
In an interview with the Global Media Center, Ghosn said the taxi will be a showcase for the Nissan brand, and that he expects versions of the light commercial vehicle on the streets of other international cities.
Q1: How is the Taxi of Tomorrow poised to be a symbol for New York and for Nissan?
CEO Carlos Ghosn: First, we are very glad that we won the competition for the Taxi of Tomorrow, based on the fact that we expressed the best of what users of taxis in New York want. We were able to customize the car in order to deliver on all the requests that were made by the city, so we’re going to have a car that is very reliable, extremely comfortable, very modern and hopefully this is going to be a kind of showcase for not only our brand, but for all the taxis of the world.
We are very proud of this achievement and we’re looking forward to starting in 2013 to have hundreds of thousands of people driven in this car, and seeing the Nissan brand on this product.
Q2: Can you envision a version of this vehicle being on other international streets at some point?
CEO: I can envision that, maybe not this car, but some kind of derivative of this car, in cities like Sao Paulo, or Moscow, or Beijing.
Obviously we will have to adapt it to the particular needs of some markets, but New York is such a cosmopolitan city, there are so many people from all over the world who come, and most of them are driven in taxis. So for us, it is a great symbol that Nissan is able to customize its products to the needs of its customers, no matter how diverse they are.
Q3: Looking at the implications for Nissan’s LCV business, how do you see this contributing?
CEO: In terms of Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs), this shows that we are going everywhere. Our intention is to become the world leader in LCVs among all the car manufacturers. We had great growth: 10 years ago we used to sell 150,000 LCVs, while last year we sold more than 1 million LCVs and our objective in the mid-term is to approach 2 million LCVs.
By approaching 2 million LCVs, we are going to be the undisputed leader of this category of cars. The Taxi of Tomorrow is another illustration of the fact that Nissan is on the offensive in this segment, that Nissan is competitive, and can win even the toughest competition, because being selected as the taxi of New York from many competitors has really been an achievement, thanks to the hard work of all the LCV team.