9/8/2011

Turkish-made taxis begin roaming NYC streets

Milliyet – Ford’s Transit Connect Taxis make their debut as New York City cabs as the first batch out of Ford Otosan’s Kocaeli plant in northwestern Turkey are handed over to dealers. ‘Made in Turkey’ Transit Connects are being introduced as an interim solution to New Yorkers’ transport needs until the new generation of yellow cabs arrive. Another Turkish company, Karsan, lost the city’s tender for a new taxi fleet to Nissan last spring.

Over 400 Transit Connects are being shipped to New York, according to Ford’s Commercial Trucks Director Len Deluca. “Although it is Transit Connect Taxi’s first year in the US market, we have received orders for 1000 vehicles already, a good rate for a market that averages around 6000 cabs annually,” he said. Other US markets like Los Angeles, Chicago, and Las Vegas are reportedly interested in Ford Transit Connect Taxis.

“To be able to sell taxi cabs to NYC provides high value exposure marketing-wise,” Ford Otosan’s General Director Nuri Otay said, adding that the success of Turkish-built cars will also raise confidence in Turkey’s engineering, manufacturing, labor force, and technology. Ford Otosan aims to export 35,000 Transit Connects to the US market in 2011.
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