Vehicle Production Group

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MV-1
MV-1 yellow cab NY.jpg
Overview
ManufacturerAM General
Production2011-Presesnt
AssemblyMishawaka, Indiana
Body and chassis
ClassCompact Minivan
LayoutFront-engine, rear-wheel-drive
Powertrain
Engine4.6 L Ford Modular V8
Transmission4-speed automatic transmission
Dimensions
Wheelbase122.0 in (3,099 mm)
Length205.0 in (5,207 mm)
Width79.4 in (2,017 mm)
Height75.0 in (1,905 mm)
Curb weight5,055–5,250 lb (2,293–2,381 kg)
Chronology
PredecessorStandard Taxi
 
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MV-1
MV-1 yellow cab NY.jpg
Overview
ManufacturerAM General
Production2011-Presesnt
AssemblyMishawaka, Indiana
Body and chassis
ClassCompact Minivan
LayoutFront-engine, rear-wheel-drive
Powertrain
Engine4.6 L Ford Modular V8
Transmission4-speed automatic transmission
Dimensions
Wheelbase122.0 in (3,099 mm)
Length205.0 in (5,207 mm)
Width79.4 in (2,017 mm)
Height75.0 in (1,905 mm)
Curb weight5,055–5,250 lb (2,293–2,381 kg)
Chronology
PredecessorStandard Taxi

The Vehicle Production Group LLC was a Miami, Florida based wheelchair-accessible taxi cab maker. It produced the MV-1 "Mobility Vehicle-1", a purpose-built wheelchair-accessible taxicab built in Mishawaka, Indiana at an AM General plant. Vehicle Production Group ceased production of new vehicles in February 2013, and the company laid off all employees and closed its doors in May 2013, after their finances dropped below the minimum condition of a $50 Million clean-energy loan awarded by The Department of Energy March 2011.[1]AM General reached an agreement with the US Department of Energy to acquire the assets of VPG in September 2013, after it had purchased the $50 million DOE loan for $3 Million.[2] AM General has created "Mobility Ventures", a wholly owned subsiderary to again produce and distribute the MV-1 through its dealer network.

Standard Taxi[edit]

Standard Taxi
Overview
ManufacturerThe Vehicle Production Group LLC
Dimensions
Wheelbase118.0 in (2,997 mm)[3]
Length196.5 in (4,991 mm)[3]
Width79.4 in (2,017 mm)[3]
Height75.0 in (1,905 mm)[4]
Chronology
SuccessorMV-1

The Standard Taxi was a purpose-built taxicab prototype designed by the Vehicle Production Group LLC of Miami, Florida.[5] It was unveiled at the 2005 IATR conference and later that year at the TLPA annual convention in Las Vegas].[5]

In mid-2008, it was announced that a contract had been signed with South Bend, Indiana-based AM General to build the Standard Taxi taxicabs, beginning in 2009.[6]

Through market feedback, VPG developed a more advanced and user-friendly vehicle known as the MV-1 to replace the Standard Taxi, which never entered series production.

Specs:

MV-1[edit]

2012 MV-1 for private use

The MV-1 was a purpose-built taxicab designed by the Vehicle Production Group LLC of Miami, Florida and built in Mishawaka, Indiana, at an AM General plant.[7][8] The name is an acronym for "Mobility Vehicle 1". It was intended to replace the planned Standard Taxi, and like that car it was developed in collaboration with AM General.[7] The first MV-1 rolled off the line in October 2011 and was delivered to disabled former American Football player Marc Buoniconti, who was a company spokesperson.[9]

Developed from the Standard Taxi, it was a more advanced and user-friendly vehicle than its predecessor. The MV-1 was the first production-made purpose-built vehicle in North American constructed from the ground up for people with disabilities.[10] It seats up to six adults, with two in full-size wheelchairs. Chairs are allowed entry via an ADA-approved ramp, able to carry 1,200 lb (544 kg) and which stows under the vehicle's floor.[11] The rear doors are 36 inches wide and 56 inches tall, to accommodate bulky wheelchairs.[8]

On 21 October 2011 it was announced that New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission had approved the MV-1 for use as a yellow cab.[12] Because it is handicap accessible, the MV-1 will continue to be approved for taxi use even after the new Nissan NV200 has replaced all other yellow cabs.[citation needed] The MV-1 is the first purpose-built taxicab to be allowed to enter service as a yellow cab since the iconic Checker Marathon.[12]

Specifications[edit]

Rear view of the MV-1, in use by "Access-A-Ride", NYC's paratransit system

Originally the MV-1 was to be based on a General Motors pickup truck with a standard GM drivetrain. Instead, the production version has a Roush designed chassis[13] and a powertrain from a Ford van.[8][11] In either case, it has a simple but sturdy body-on-frame construction with fully boxed rails. The engine is the well-known Ford Modular 4.6 liter V8 which produces 248 hp (185 kW).[9]VPG had partnered with Clean Energy Inc, the largest provider of compressed natural gas (CNG) for fleets in North America, to offer the MV-1 with a CNG fuel option. The MV-1 with CNG has an estimated 290-mile range with three Type-3 tanks integrated into the vehicle's design.[8]

Production was temporarily halted in the summer of 2012 as VPG changed their tooling in order to introduce the MV-1 LX, a more luxurious version. The LX will allow the access ramp to be controlled from the keyfob, and also has some wood trim and other luxury features.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ {http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2013/05/08/vpg-auto-fisker-solyndra-tesla-doe-loan/2143201/}
  2. ^ {http://www.autonews.com/article/20130905/OEM01/130909918/am-general-to-acquire-vehicle-production-group}
  3. ^ a b c "Vehicle specifications". Standard Taxi official website. Archived from the original on 2008-06-24. Retrieved 2008-07-15. 
  4. ^ Jared Gall (April 2007). "2009 Standard Taxi - Auto Shows". Car and Driver. Retrieved 2008-07-15. 
  5. ^ a b "Taxi Reinvented". BusinessWeek. Retrieved 2008-07-15. [dead link]
  6. ^ http://www.standardtaxi.com/documents/Issue_11.htm[dead link]
  7. ^ a b Korzeniewski, Jeremy (2009-10-21). "AM General to build VPG MV-1 people-mover at Hummer H2 factory". AutoBlog. AOL. Archived from the original on 2012-04-05. 
  8. ^ a b c d Coxworth, Ben (September 22, 2011). "MV-1 van is designed specifically for wheelchair users". gizmag.com. Archived from the original on 2012-04-03. Retrieved April 3, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b Ewing, Steven J. (2011-10-06). "2011 VPG Autos MV-1: A Long-Overdue Entry In An Otherwise Overlooked Segment". AutoBlog. AOL. 
  10. ^ Gastelu, Gary (December 9, 2010). "Quick Spin: MV-1 Mobility VehicleCar Report". FoxNews.com. Archived from the original on April 4, 2012. 
  11. ^ a b "Detroit auto show wrap-up: Vehicle Production Group MV-1". ShopAutoWeek.com. AutoWeek. 2012-01-11. Archived from the original on April 3, 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-03.. 
  12. ^ a b "New York City's Taxi & Limousine Commission Approves the MV-1®". PR Newswire. 2011-10-21. Archived from the original on 2012-04-05. 
  13. ^ Consumer Guide Automotive
  14. ^ Meenan, Jim (2012-06-13). "AM General prepares to add new line". South Bend Tribune. Retrieved 2012-07-24. 

External links[edit]