Renault getting big foothold in Madeira Taxi business.

Dichtung

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Just back from a couple of weeks in Madeira, and noticed that Mercedes, once dominant in the taxi business are losing out big time to Renault with their new Meganes and boxy Dacia estates.
But what was more mysterious was the fact that during the whole fortnight, I never spotted a Merc taxi later than a facelift W210. Plenty of 124s,210s Vitos and the odd 190. PrePandemic, W211s and later were plentyfull, so where are they?

On a brighter note, on our last day, we rode back to the hotel in this W210. The owner/driver was proud of it, and pointed out to me that it had nearly a million kms on the clock.It was an E220 and I suspect a cdi since it didn`t have the clatter of a non cdi I tried to bring up the subject of the missing Mercs , but he intimated that they were like Dacias and "Poof", he clapped his hands.
 

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phobos

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Being Portuguese, I do have unfair advantage on the clues :)
Just spotted the plate with 96 ( year of 1st registration) and xx-xx-MA, which is a 98 ( 1998) So this taxi was imported as a 2nd hand car, most likely from Germany. Pre-facelift frontend and tachometer, so OM 604 diesel / mechanical injection and no turbo with 95 bhp.

W211 are still around ( at least in my home town - Leiria) but the Renault are unfortunately cheaper and the goverment have passed some laws that taxis can only be of a certain age or you have to pay extra.. hence the cheaer euroboxes...
 

Petrol Pete

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This will happen everywhere we are used to seeing 'eldery' MB's being used as taxis. Countries in North Africa spring to mind. Even the toughest will eventually wear out or fade away.

They will not be replaced by newer MB models .
 
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Dichtung

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Thankyou phobos. Very enlightening. I did notice the usual Merc taxi spec colour on the A and B pillars when I opened the doors, and I noticed the driver had to take it up to 4K revs on some of those cardiac hills.
Madeira is an Autonomous region of Portugal, so perhaps the old Mercs are fine there, but it still doesn`t explain the absence of those 211/212s etc.
I can only conclude that the purchase and maintenance costs of newer Mercs are becoming prohibitive.
 

phobos

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Thankyou phobos. Very enlightening. I did notice the usual Merc taxi spec colour on the A and B pillars when I opened the doors, and I noticed the driver had to take it up to 4K revs on some of those cardiac hills.
Madeira is an Autonomous region of Portugal, so perhaps the old Mercs are fine there, but it still doesn`t explain the absence of those 211/212s etc.
I can only conclude that the purchase and maintenance costs of newer Mercs are becoming prohibitive.
211/212 most likely cost a bit more to maintain, there is no getting away of that and they are also most likely not EUR6. Furthermore, these used te a huge 2nd hand imported car market in Portugal right until around 2010-2012where we would import used cars from Germany and (re)license them with Portuguese plates with a discount on the taxes depeding on the age of the car.. but the goverment soon clocked that :)
 
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Dichtung

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An old business pal came up with an answer in seconds.
`The Pandemic` During 2021/2022, tourists were scarce, cruise ship visits were non existent, hotels and businesses were closing by the score, so only `bought and paid for` taxis were going to survive.
Now things are starting to pick up. drivers are starting again with a safer option ie a cheaper to buy and run Megane/Dacia.

Is he correct?
 

Darrell

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An old business pal came up with an answer in seconds.
`The Pandemic` During 2021/2022, tourists were scarce, cruise ship visits were non existent, hotels and businesses were closing by the score, so only `bought and paid for` taxis were going to survive.
Now things are starting to pick up. drivers are starting again with a safer option ie a cheaper to buy and run Megane/Dacia.

Is he correct?

No idea because every market is different.

Skiathos for example only has 19 taxis so they all just about got through 2020. Last year was a bit better and this year everything appears to be back to normal.

3 of my mates are London black cab drivers. All owners.
 

phobos

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An old business pal came up with an answer in seconds.
`The Pandemic` During 2021/2022, tourists were scarce, cruise ship visits were non existent, hotels and businesses were closing by the score, so only `bought and paid for` taxis were going to survive.
Now things are starting to pick up. drivers are starting again with a safer option ie a cheaper to buy and run Megane/Dacia.

Is he correct?
Interesting theory, but I would still say that it is running costs driven by governament policies..
 

johnsco

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It's about 20 years since I last visited Madeira .... Probably the loveliest place I have ever visited for holiday.
Over a period of 30 years, I stayed in Sao Vicente twice and Funchal once.
During that time there were many changes - In particular, the new road system was built, so that you could cross the island north to south in about half an hour, rather than about 5 hours.
It was a joy to see all the old yellow Mercedes taxis ..... Part of the charm of the place.
 
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Dichtung

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Ok phobos, I bow to you knowledge of the Portuguese system.
And Johnsco, I`m with you, watching those yellow cabs. Nothing better after dispatching SWMBO to the shops than sitting in a pavement caff, scoffing coffee and those nata cakes and keeping an eye on a taxi rank.
Watching the drivers manually pushing their cabs up a place, when the first cab gets a fare, Hopping on their left leg whilst trying to stop the car with the foot/handbrake. Hilarious.
 

Boyband

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Hi , I live in Portugal during the winter months and confirm that Mercedes are not a force in the taxi marker any more.

However , it's not a fare comparison to judge the two manufactures in the same breath.

I use taxis on a regular basis and the Dacia brand although cheap don't cover high miles well.

VW brands appear well built and do cover starship miles well.
 

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