There’s been much talk about the potential contenders for the new Taxi for London, chief amongst them being both the Metrocab and Nissan solutions. More information has come to light about Nissan’s NV200 van based contender, with final assembly being taken care of by Coventry based ADV Manufacturing.
Assembly will include both the standard petrol engined vehicle as well as the all electric e-NV200 taxi for London that Nissan will be offering to prospective buyers hoping to have an all electric taxi solution ideal for use in and around London and other cities. The all electric version, however, will be launched later than the petrol counterpart, in 2015.
It represents a joint investment with Nissan of £6 million to build a brand new, dedicated taxi manufacturing facility in Coventry.
Andy Palmer, Chief Planning Officer and Executive Vice President of Nissan Motor Corporation, revealed the news as part of his address to students at Coventry University, where he was delivering the prestigious Bugatti Lecture on the future of motoring.
ADV will build the new production facility for Nissan’s new Taxi for London adjacent to its existing premises, with a view to delivering the first petrol-engined versions in December 2014.
ADV was selected as the final assembly partner on the basis of its expertise and track record in the production of specialist vehicles, and on its ability to meet Nissan’s rigorous manufacturing standards.
The base vehicle will be sourced from Nissan’s Barcelona factory and shipped to the ADV plant in Coventry for final taxi assembly. The extensive taxi transformation includes new bodywork, taxi interior refit and revised suspension and steering.
Andy Palmer said:
“Our new Taxi for London is part of a wider, international taxi programme that forms a key part of Nissan’s global strategy, so we are naturally being very prudent in selecting our partners. ADV has demonstrated that it has the proficiency and capability to deliver what we believe will become a new icon for London.
We are pleased to be reinforcing once again our commitment to the British automotive industry and the fact that our black cabs will be rolling off the production line in Coventry, with its long history in the taxi business, is an added bonus.”
Nissan Motor GB managing director, James Wright, said:
“Nissan has now established itself as the leading force in British car manufacturing and has extremely high standards to uphold in order to maintain that reputation. We are delighted to be working with ADV as our new partner in the Taxi for London programme and we look forward to working together to deliver the most comfortable, efficient and functional black cab London has ever seen.”
Nissan is forging ahead with its pioneering work in the sustainable motoring field, developing a 100 per cent electric taxi – the e-NV200 – which it aims to have on the streets of a UK city in 2015.
Brendan O’Toole, CEO of ADV Manufacturing, said:
“This is great news for ADV and indeed for the City of Coventry. The company is already taking on more engineers, technicians and other specialist staff to reinforce our product development group. We will be expanding and training our production team to build taxis from the early summer. With Coventry University turning out world class engineers and an army of great workers steeped in automotive manufacturing disciplines right on our doorstep. We couldn’t be located in a better place to launch such an exciting and prestigious project as the New Taxi for London. We anticipate the Nissan taxi will become the new market standard and thereby underpin sustainable jobs at ADV for many years.”
Business Secretary Vince Cable said:
“Nissan has helped drive a renaissance in the British car industry with innovative models like the Qashqai and LEAF, so it is good news the company has chosen to assemble its new taxi in Coventry. We have supported the project with a loan of nearly £4 million through AMSCI (Advanced Manufacturing and Supply Chain Initiative), the government’s jobs creation fund for manufacturing. Through our Automotive Industrial Strategy, we are also partnering up with industry to jointly invest £1 billion in an Advanced Propulsion Centre. This will give forward-thinking businesses like Nissan the confidence to invest and create technologies for cars of the future, delivering more high-skilled jobs and keeping the UK as a world leader in cars.”