According to The Asahi Shimbun, Toyota Motor Corp. is going for gold with its new taxi, the company’s first in 22 years, aiming to fill Tokyo’s streets with the model in time for the 2020 Olympics.
The JPN Taxi, successor to the leading automaker’s previous sedan model, the Comfort, was released on Oct. 23. Toyota hopes to sell 1,000 units of the new model per month.
“Tokyo will host the Olympic Games, and the view of Tokyo will change with the change of taxis,” Toyota President Akio Toyoda told reporters at the launch event in Tokyo.
Toyota, which has 70 to 80 percent of the taxi vehicle market share, is calling for the entire industry to adopt uniformly JPN Taxis with an exterior color of “Koi Ai” (deep indigo blue), known as “Japan blue” overseas, so that they will become a symbol of Tokyo like New York’s yellow cabs and the black cabs of London.
The JPN Taxi has a more box-type shape compared to the Comfort, making it roomier and easier for passengers to enter and exit.
The cab’s body is 22 centimeters higher than the Comfort’s, and its floor is 5 cm lower. The sliding door can also accommodate a ramp for wheelchair users.
The new model runs on liquefied petroleum gas and electricity, making it twice as fuel efficient as its predecessor.
It will be equipped with standard accessories including a collision avoidance support package called "Toyota Safety Sense C," with which when a collision is predicted, the car will reduce its speed.
The JPN Taxi is marketed at between 3.28 million yen ($US 28,800) and 3.5 million yen--more than 1 million yen more than the Comfort.
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