(New York, NY -- Kathleen Horan, WNYC) One of the the three auto maker finalists in the running to be the taxi-provider for the next decade in New York City is stepping up the competition by vowing to build the cars in Brooklyn if selected. New York is currently holding a competition to replace the iconic Ford Crowne Victoria, which in turn replaced the iconic checker cab.
The Turkish automaker Karsan has informed New York city officials that they'd outfit a 250, 000 square foot space at the south Brooklyn marine terminal to produce thousands of vehicles if they're selected to be the "Taxi of Tomorrow" manufacturer.
Karsan USA President Bill Wachtel [WACT-tell] says since they're planning to partner with [the American company] Chrysler for the engines, transmissions and gear boxes, it's actually a better to assemble the vehicles here.
"It makes far more sense for us to build the car in Brooklyn than it does to send all these U.S. components to Turkey and ship it back," Karsan USA President Bill Wachtel says. he says his proposal includes a partnership with Chrysler to build engines, transmissions, and gear boxes for the taxis.
Wachtel says the project could provide 2-300 local jobs at the outset.
The other competitors in the Taxi of Tomorrow project --Ford and Nissan are staying tight lipped about Karsan's proposal but a spokesman for the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission says the agency in the process of evaluating the 3 proposals from their finalists.