Profit sharing for passenger safety
The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) Western Cape (WC) and Group 1 Nissan, the largest Nissan dealership in the Western Cape, will split the profits from sales of the new Nissan NV350 taxi equally.
The funds will be used by the commercial arm of Santaco WC to better empower taxi owners. This means that taxi owners will have more money to maintain their vehicles and, importantly, to reward taxi drivers more fairly, so that safety on the roads can be increased.
“Despite popular belief, the high (and constantly rising) costs of running a taxi means the owners are left with extremely small margins,” explains Nazeem Abdurahman, second deputy chairman of Santaco WC.
He adds: “We believe that this joint-venture deal is a big step towards involving the industry in helping to address the province’s commuter safety crisis. Group 1 Nissan is making a bold statement on behalf of the industry and we applaud the dealership for helping us to meet some of our biggest challenges.”
Marcel Swanepoel, Group 1 Nissan’s managing director, says: “The only way that the taxi industry can be empowered is to have the proper means to deal with their issues. We’re very proud to have carved this deal with Santaco. While it is a big step, it’s actually only the first small step towards assisting the taxi industry to help more than a million people a day, in the Western Cape, use and rely upon a more supportive and safer taxi industry. We sincerely hope that this move by Group 1 Nissan signals a new dawn for the industry.”
The deal coincides with Nissan’s launch of a new and safer taxi – the NV350 Impendulo Manual. Impendulo means “answer” in Zulu, which is appropriate as Nissan South Africa consulted the taxi industry extensively on what features were needed in a new minibus taxi in order to improve road handling, performance and passenger safety.
The new Nissan taxi will be launched in March 2014 and will be helping to transport some of the 17 million people who rely on taxis in South Africa each day.
The NV350 Impendulo’s enhanced safety features include driver and passenger airbags, safety belts on all 16 seats and Zone Body Structure (consisting of safety and crushable zones).
It also features an immobiliser and the DataDot vehicle identification system. The NV350’s 2,5-litre engine promises fuel efficiency through its five-speed manual gearbox, while still providing enough power and torque to carry passengers quickly and reliably.