The Tata Nexon compact SUV has hit the taxi circuit, and here’s the first picture of one such example from Kerala. This particular example was recently spotted by Mr. Bobby Paul outside the Kochi international airport. This is the first time ever that the Nexon has been spotted in India wearing yellow plates. This particular example is the base variant of the compact SUV, which is standard fixture in the taxi circuit.
The Nexon getting inducted into the taxi space comes as no surprise as the vehicle has a spacious back seat, which puts it a few notches above the Ford EcoSport and the Maruti Brezza – its key competitors in the sub-4 meter compact SUV segment.
While we’re yet to see taxi variants of the facelifted Ford EcoSport and the Maruti Vitara Brezza, there are plenty of yellow board Mahindra TUV300s doing taxi duties in many parts of India. While the Nexon hitting the taxi circuit will bring Tata Motors a good chunk of incremental sales, some existing owners of the compact SUV are already complaining that the ‘image’ of the compact SUV will suffer adversely if too many Nexons flood the taxi circuit.
Tata Motors has worked hard to shed its image of an automaker that builds cars mainly for the taxi circuit, and it’ll be interesting to see whether Tata actually encourages fleet sales of the Nexon. Considering the fact that personal car sales may slow down in the coming years, with app-based cab aggregators and self drive car operators taking over much of the market, the taxi segment is something no automaker can ignore.
The Nexon sold in India is available with two engine options – a 1.2 litre turbocharged petrol with 108 Bhp and a 1.5 litre turbocharged diesel with 108 Bhp-260 Nm. The best priced compact SUV of India, prices of the Nexon start from Rs. 6.29 lakhs, allowing it to significantly undercut the likes of the Ford EcoSport and the Maruti Brezza.
Currently, Tata sells about 4,000 units of the Nexon on an average every month. Hitting the taxi circuit could easily add a fifth to these numbers. The question remains, will Tata want the Nexon to be seen in the taxi segment?.