Classic Santana taxis being phased out in time for import expo
Qiangsheng, one of the largest taxi firms in Shanghai, will say goodbye to their dated Volkswagen Santanas by the end of October, the company announced on Thursday.
Over the years, the city’s taxi operators have been replacing the VW Santana, a sedan brand that once dominated the market but is now no longer in production, with the VW Touran, a multi-purpose model that offers greater passenger comfort.
Qiangsheng said they will take their remaining 1,700 Santanas off the road and replace them with Tourans by the end of October. Once complete, they will be the city’s first taxi operator to complete the fleet upgrade.
The switch is also part of efforts to better serve visitors from home and abroad during the upcoming China International Import Expo in November.
Qiangsheng said they will remove advertisements from cabs and add new seat covers.
The company has also added 100 electric cabs to the fleet. Each car is equipped with four cameras that can monitor the driver’s behavior during service. Passengers will also be able to scan a QR code to pay their fare.
On top of all that, the company announced on Thursday an upgrade of the online taxi hailing platform. Every cab has car-hailing equipment allowing the driver to take online orders. This helps ensure that the driver’s personal identity is verified before accepting such orders.