Nissan London taxis to be built in Coventry
A new London taxi, designed by Nissan, is to be built in Coventry, the company has said.
The cabs will be assembled by ADV Manufacturing at a new plant as part of a £6m joint investment by the firms.
ADV said it was already taking on more engineers and other staff, and would be expanding its production team.
The first 1.6 litre petrol-engine models are set to be produced from December, with an electric version expected to be launched in 2015.
Andy Palmer, Chief Planning Officer and Executive Vice President of Nissan, revealed the news as part of his address to students at Coventry University on Tuesday in a lecture on the future of motoring.
The vehicle will be shipped from Nissan's factory in Barcelona to the ADV plant in Coventry for final assembly.
Tim Martin, Managing Director of ADV said it was "great news" for the company and the city, and would "underpin sustainable jobs at ADV for many years".
Nissan revealed its new designs at the beginning of the month.
The manufacturer is one of five developing more environmentally-friendly cabs for the streets of London.
Last week, London Mayor Boris Johnson announced all taxis operating in the capital would have to be capable of zero emissions from 2018.
London Taxi Company (LTC), which produces what the mayor described as the current "iconic" black cab, is itself developing a greener model at its base in Coventry.
LTC's Chinese owner Geely has pledged an £80m investment in the research and production of the new TX5 model, initially with a hybrid engine, and expects to launch an electric version in 2018.
Warwick Business School's Dr Christian Stadler, an expert in the motoring sector, said he expected Nissan to have a big impact on the market.
"Mercedes have been there for a few years, but not had too big an impact on LTC. However, I'm predicting Nissan's model will be at a lower price point - possibly about £30,000 - and will be a tougher competition for LTC," he said.
"I believe Nissan are planning about 140,000 vehicles a year. That's the equivalent of all the taxis produced for London since 1948."
He said Nissan's entry into the London taxi market was "potentially troubling" for LTC, although he said Geely was also planning a global roll-out for its vehicles, which should help protect the firm.