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Taxi Times International - January 2015 - English

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CARS CARS Could become a

CARS CARS Could become a popular taxi like its predecessor: the fourth generation Caddy Maxi. Top: Volkswagen delivers the Caddy 4 to 17 countries with a specially designed taxi package. CONNECT 4 With the new Caddy Maxi 4, Volkswagen offers the taxi sector another reliable taxi as always, whose key feature is wheelchair accessibility. Left: AMF has received European type approval for its conversion solution. VW COMMERCIAL VEHICLES OFFERS EXTENDED GUARANTEE Invitation to a test drive: VW Taxi Manager Joachim Flämig handing over the Caddy 4 to the Taxi Times editorial staff. An employee from Reha-Automobile demonstrates how the second seating row can still be folded down after conversion. When we took the Caddy Maxi 4 for a first test drive last November, equipped with a taxi package for Germany and a corresponding light ivory paint job, the clock was still on summer time. It was as if the Volkswagen group was still clinging to the era before the emissions-rigging scandal. It is hard to put a figure on the financial damage that will result. According to surveys, customer confidence in the Volkswagen brand seems not to have suffered very much. This is understandable, because VW still builds good cars, as it always has. And the current version of the Caddy is no exception. It is the fourth generation, and four significant advantages of this model immediately come to mind that are relevant to the taxi trade. 1. A PERSONAL VEHICLE IN THE COMMERCIAL VEHICLE SEGMENT: Volkswagen divides its models into personal vehicle and commercial vehicle segments. The Caddy belongs to the latter, but it is hardly noticeable in this version. The panelling, noise level, suspension – nothing about it seems spartan or utilitarian. If the windows in the second of three seating rows were not just hinged but could instead be opened all the way, some passengers could mistake this model for the Sharan, its equivalent in the personal vehicle segment, whilst still inside the car. 2. THE INTERNATIONAL TAXI PACKAGE: A vehicle used as a taxi must tackle some tough challenges. This is why Volkswagen offers its models with a specially designed taxi package. Joachim Flämig, Taxi Manager at VW Commercial Vehicles for the German market, speaks of ‘robust measures’; the press department explains what that means: the largest possible batteries and generators, and more powerful starters, handholds and hinges on the driver-side door. In the interior, PHOTOS: AMF, Reha Automobile, Taxi Times options include body consoles, a centre console with a centre armrest and three cupholders, and a switch for the roof sign and interior lighting. The devices for connecting the radio unit, taximeter, roof sign and alarm system are already factory installed. This taxi package is available – customised and in line with market needs – in Germany, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Croatia, Luxembourg, Austria, Switzerland, Portugal, Sweden, Spain, Norway, Israel and Taiwan. 3. WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBILITY: Its predecessor was already one of the most popular models for its wheelchair acces sibility, both among taxi companies and many conversion companies. For instance, German conversion specialists Reha-Automobile and AMF have already converted around 20 Caddy Maxi 4 models, many of them taxis. AMF, whose head office is located in northern Germany, has developed a new assembly kit for converting the Caddy 4, which will be sold to partner workshops across all of Europe. 4. WINS VARIA- BLE POINT: There are many reasons to give this model a fourth winning point. Some are impressed by the TGI natural gas version with a range of 860 kilometres and a consumption of 4.1 kilogrammes per 100 kilometres, which will be available starting from May 2016. Others appreciate the capacity provided by the second and third seating rows that allow even taller passengers to sit comfortably. But perhaps the combination of the small TDI engine (75 kW) with a 6-speed DSG, now available, is another bonus. Or the boot space of 530 litres with a third seating row, or 1,350 litres minus the sixth and seventh seats. But with the right combination of the features, the Caddy Maxi 4 can be taken on profitable shifts – whether summer or winter time. jh Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is offering a special purchase incentive to companies within the German taxi market. Upon purchase of a Caddy or T6 with a factory-made taxi or for hire vehicle package, the group will provide a comprehensive guarantee package for a mileage of up to 500,000 kilometres, for a maximum of two additional years after the expiry of the manufacturer’s guarantee. This includes, for example, up to two additional days of replacement mobility and 100% coverage of labour costs of a specialist workshop plus a staggered, percentage-based refund of material costs depending on the mileage. The guarantee package will be available free of charge until 31 December 2015. It had not yet been decided when this edition went to press whether the promotion, offered by VW together with the guarantee insurer ‘Mobile Guarantee’, would be extended. 20 JANUARY / 2016 TAXI JANUARY / 2016 TAXI 21

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