Cabbies in the city have put forth their wish list to the government. They want newer and luxurious models such as Hyundai i10, i20 and Maruti Swift Dzire to be a part of the existing fleet.
However, the auto manufacturers are not keen on the idea.
"The manufacturers are refusing to supply the newer models as they fear that its demand would plunge and there wouldn't be many buyers," said AL Quadros, general secretary, Mumbai Taximen's Union.
While the taxi union has already had discussions with Chevrolet and General Motors for providing them with latest models that could be afforded by cab drivers, the main contention is that these cars should be more than 1,000cc.
Apart from that, the government is still to approve cars from the luxury segment to be a part of the fleet.
Recently, around seven car owners purchased Swift Dzire for converting it into a taxi, but did not get the clearance from the transport authority.
According to unions, the car manufacturers only supply vehicles that have a low demand in the market. The models recently introduced into the city's taxi fleet include Maruti Alto, Omni, WagonR, Esteem, Hyundai Santro and Accent.
The radio cab taxis use using Mahindra Logan, Tata Indigo Marina and Maruti Esteem. The government also wanted Honda City and Toyota Camry to be part of the fleet
However, car dealers are of the view that the demand for a car goes down once it becomes a taxi. "People are hysterical about driving the same car model that is being run as public taxi to ferry people," said a car dealer from Goregaon on condition of anonymity.
"It is always good that different customer segments want to buy our cars. However, presently there is no special sales promotion scheme for Swift Dzire as a taxi," said Mayank Pareek, managing executive officer, Maruti Suzuki.
A spokesperson from Hyundai said: "We will continue to supply only the Santro and Accent for the taxi segment as of now."
Meanwhile, the government believes that the introduction of these models in the taxi fleet is an assurance that the vehicles are good. "The manufacturers should be happy. This move would boost the demand for the car in the market," said Dilip Jadhav, transport commissioner.