The Independent Taxi Advisory Services (ITAS) has awarded Impendulo a five-star vehicle rating as well as a five-star rating in the manufacturer audit, a feat which has only ever been achieved by one other taxi manufacturer in the country.
The accolade reflects Nissan’s commitment to the successful introduction of Impendulo to South Africa and elevates the newcomer’s standing within the local taxi industry. The award also recognizes Nissan’s drive to provide a safer mode of transport for the millions of South African commuters who use taxis on a daily basis.
The 16-seater Impendulo, which is powered by a 108 kW, 2.5-litre petrol engine mated to a five-speed manual gearbox, is engineered and built in Japan and complies with stringent South African taxi industry regulations. In a bold and innovative move Nissan involved local stakeholders during the development process, including a competition amongst taxi operators to give Impendulo its unique name for the South African market.
“Reviving the love which South African taxi operators and passengers had for the trusty Nissan E20 – last seen in the 1990s – the new NV350 Impendulo has been warmly received by all parties and is making important strides in the marketplace,” comments NV350 Product Manager at Nissan South Africa, Tessa Cooke.
“The fact that Impendulo now carries ITAS certification strengthens its credentials and proves that our rigorous development and engineering process fully meets all South African taxi industry regulations and requirements. It also proves we have introduced a formidable competitor to the local market.”
The ITAS rating is based on a set of criteria which evaluates the vehicle manufacturer, the vehicle itself, as well as the dealer network supplying and servicing taxis. The ITAS scorecard is intended to provide both consumers and stakeholders in the transport industry transparent and fair information on which to base purchase decisions, as well as a high degree of consumer protection.
The judging process involves the creation of numerous benchmarks based on significant stakeholder feedback. Scorecard ratings are then generated and published.
Terence Gregory of ITAS, elaborates: “The stringent certification process of the ITAS Scorecard has been developed to provide all stakeholders of the South African taxi industry – from the manufacturer, operator and commuter points of view-with rigorous, comparative measurements.
“In an industry where strict regulations have been imposed, coinciding with the taxi recapitalisation programme, it is our intention to improve the transparency of the infrastructure deployed to support the vehicles which are used to carry millions of South Africans every day. This is achieved by auditing the manufacturers and their processes which operate behind the scenes to provide such support.
“I would like to say ‘kudos’ to Nissan for achieving the highest ranking provided by the ITAS Scorecard audit process.”