NY taxi bidder Karsan to focus on bus production

NY taxi bidder Karsan to focus on bus production

Emre Özpeynirci - ISTANBUL / Hürriyet
NY taxi bidder Karsan to focus on bus production

Karsan is also making buses for Italy’s BredaMenarinibus seen here. After its ‘taxi of the future’ bid for NY taxis, the firm is now concentrating on bus production. Hürriyet photo

Turkish vehicle maker Karsan is moving on from its failed bid to design New York City’s “taxi of tomorrow” to focus on producing buses. Karsan will produce 450 buses valued at 120 million euros to be used for the metrobus and other lines in Istanbul.

Metrobus is a busy line in Istanbul, dedicated to busses only.

The company won a tender held by the Istanbul Public Transport Authority (İETT) to produce 200 12-meter-long buses that will run on compressed natural gas and 250 18-meter-long buses for Istanbul’s metrobus line.

The company is slated to ramp up its production capacity to four buses per day from its current two buses. Karsan had looked to win the prestigious New York taxi tender, but had lost in the final phase to Japan’s Nissan last year. It then turned its attention to London for taxi production before spotting a growth opportunity in bus production.

Meanwhile, Karsan Executive Director Jan Nahum said the company had signed a production and exports agreement with Italy’s leading bus producer last year, BredaMenarinibus, which accelerated the company’s work in bus manufacturing.

“We increased the production from one bus a day to two buses a day this year. Our production goal for 2013 is four buses a day,” he said.

Taxi project continues

Noting that Karsan wanted to engage in every field of vehicle production, he said: “The taxi project may be kept in the background, but our work in this field continues. But now we have shifted a big portion of our energy to manufacturing buses.”

The company will focus on the taxi project after the business plan and engineering work is completed, he said.

The value of the 12-meter bus production project is 50 million euros, equaling 242,000 euros per bus, he said.

Each 18-meter bus costs about 280,000 euros, he added. This about one fourth of the money paid for imported bus.

İETT had paid 1.2 million euros for each of the 50 metro-busses imported from the Netherlands.