By on January 5, 2016

Nissan Kicks Concept

Nissan said it will produce a vehicle based on the Kicks Concept car shown at the Sao Paulo Auto Show in 2014. It will be sold globally, beginning in Latin America this year.

CEO Carlos Ghosn said the car appeals to Latin American markets that prefer compact crossovers. You know who else buys compact crossovers? You, and everyone else you know, apparently.

According to several reports, the Kicks would fit into the automaker’s lineup between the smaller Juke and larger Qashqai. Is there a hole for crossover sales between our Juke and Rogue? There’s only one way to find out.

Nissan said the Kicks would be produced in Brazil at its new Resende facility that also produces the March and Versa. In case you’re wondering, the automaker’s plant in Aguascalientes, Mexico also produces the March/Micra and Versa — alongside the Sentra — so they may have a few tools to fit the Kick around there too.

From history, we know Nissan isn’t afraid to take a risk on something completely different — but any crossover right now is far from a risky bet.

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24 Comments on “Nissan Greenlights Kicks for Latin America, Why Not Sell It In The US?...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I think this will actually be the replacement for the Juke. They’ll probably do dual sales for a year or two, the Juke Select type thing, then switch it over to this. They’re testing it in the Latin market first to make sure nothing big is wrong with it, before bringing it to NA.

    The looks are an improvement certainly, and would bring it in line with the rest of the lineup. It sticks out like a sore thumb right now.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    You ask the question “why not sell it in the US”, then answer it in the article by saying “it will be sold globally”. Doesn’t ‘globally’ include the US?

    Either way, I don’t see much daylight between the Juke and the Rogue. This vehicle certainly seems more mainstream than the Juke – and the Rogue is new – so perhaps this will be the new Juke in the US (as CoreyDL suggests).

    Personally, I’d much prefer the Rogue due to its class-leading interior volume and already decent fuel economy. Saving a couple grand to buy a much smaller vehicle doesn’t make sense to me.

    • 0 avatar

      It will not be sold here for a few reasons

      1) because it probably does not meet US crash or environmental standards. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was based off a Dacia platform, which is not engineered for our markets (and will allow it to be sold for an appropriate price point, and be profitable).

      2) because Nissan’s current SUV lineup probably can’t support another nameplate. With Juke, Rogue, Pathfinder, Murano Armada and the forthcoming Qashqai, an even smaller CUV would be tough to position and would cannibalize sales from the smaller trio of Nissan CUVs. Resources are finite, and without marketing and adequate support, vehicles die on the vine, even good ones.

      3) Where does Nissan position this? A Juke is $20k roughly. There isn’t a lot of room for CUV *priced* below a Juke. Having Juke/Qashqai/Rogue all play in that sub-25k range means things get crowded real fast.

      I wish the article had done a better job of explaining this, rather than the kind of pandering “why don’t we get this” that some of the less reputable sites indulge in.

      • 0 avatar
        Varezhka

        Thank you, Derek. My thoughts exactly.
        Lack of engineering for the US market and an already crowded line-up means that Nissan has a limited use for a vehicle that may cannibalize their more profitable models. The article definitely should’ve delved deeper.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          That is…if they didnt design it from the start so with modification, it could sell in crossover-crazy US.

          Its the best looking Nissan, let alone just their crossover entrys, that Ive seen in a long time. It really does look good in my opinion, and would do well against Trax, Renegade (which like it or not, is the best looking thus far), 500X, HR-V, and other forthcoming small (as in cheaper) crossovers. Thr Juke’s weird styling makes it polorizing, whereas this looks good enough to not offend.

          But, Im still pissed at them for failing to put the iDX into production and for their generally half-assed current line up. Nissan has made cars I still like, but none are on a current dealer’s lot, and havent been for awhile.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        So my confusion was well-founded. I agree with your assessment, Derek.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    QOTD: Which was more obnoxious, the SUV in its time or the CUV today?

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Nissan won’t sell this in the U.S. because it would ruin their uninterrupted, record streak of production of consecutive, hideous vehicles.*

    *Is that a real teak roof? Sweet! A real fur dress is cruel, but real teak is for winners.

  • avatar
    derekson

    It’s probably built on an old platform with cost-cutting measures that would be unacceptable even for the rental car fodder that currently sits on Nissan lots. Nor would it likely be easy to get it to pass US crash tests. Latin American safety testing is massively easier to comply with.

    This vehicle may be styled like a modern Rogue, but I doubt that it performs massively better on crash tests than the ancient North American models that they are still able to sell in these countries. For god’s sake, they still produced and sell the circa 1990 Sentra in Latin America.

    If they plan to sell a version in places like Europe, it will likely be reengineered under the skin and produced locally.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    This isn’t the rumored replacement for the Z?

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    This is so much more appealing than the Juke. It should be a no-brainer, so something must be holding it back from being sold here

  • avatar
    Victor

    It is quite laughable – and yet very sad – that every time a new crapwagon comes up in the third world, someone here asks about why it is not sold in the US. It happened with the Chevrolet Montana, then with the Fiat Strada, the Ecosport and even the airbag-free, safe as a shopping cart, Trollet T4.

    The US market gets the best and cheapest cars in the world. Half of the fun of migrating to the US resides in buying a used BMW or Audi and then sharing on facebook. Or big, big SUVs – the average “SUV” here is Ecosport-sized. Yet our crap somehow seems to be quite attractive to some of you.

    The “Kicks” – what an indiotic name, btw – will be yet another mini-SUV, this time based on the March platform. The same March that Latin NCAP proved more fragile on an impact than Europe’s Micra. And of course it’ll go for over 70k Reais. Because, why not?…

    So, rest assured, people of the better end of America, the “Kicks” won’t make it to your nearest Nissan dealership, simply because it sucks.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s the Forbidden Fruit syndrome. We’re so used to our own automotive offerings that the stuff we can’t have seems more appealing to us. It also helps that some automakers have nary a clue as to what really gets our gears turning in the U.S. (paging VW).

      This wouldn’t be a problem if the U.S. was a regulationless, free-for-all country where people can buy practically any car they want from any market. People can finally get what they want – and then learn why the grass on the other side isn’t always greener.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    A few years ago I was visiting Corsica and rode in and borrowed a friends Qashqai. It is sized closed to the Murano but has the off-road capability of a SUV with a center locking differential and beefier suspension vs the Altima based Murano.


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