Volkswagen SA has entered the taxi vehicle market with a diesel-powered, converted Crafter panel van.
A 23-seater passenger conversion is available that will be fully compliant with the government's more stringent compulsory safety specifications, effective from 2008.
Currently vehicles for the taxi industry need only be "substantially compliant" with these specifications.
VWSA's sales and marketing director Mike Glendinning expects between 30 and 40 percent of Crafter sales in 2007 to be to the taxi industry and this percentage to grow.
VWSA is confident it will sell about 750 Crafters between April and December 2007, a more than 20 percent increase in sales into this segment of the medium commercial vehicle market compared with 2006.