Nissan Greenlights Kicks for Latin America, Why Not Sell It In The US?

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole

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.

Aaron Cole
Aaron Cole

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  • Victor Victor on Jan 05, 2016

    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.

    • See 1 previous
    • Victor Victor on Jan 06, 2016

      @John Williams Yes, and the US grass is mostly greener, specially when it comes to cars.

  • MRF 95 T-Bird MRF 95 T-Bird on Jan 05, 2016

    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.

  • Pau65792686 I think there is a need for more sedans. Some people would rather drive a car over SUV’s or CUV’s. If Honda and Toyota can do it why not American brands. We need more affordable sedans.
  • Tassos Obsolete relic is NOT a used car.It might have attracted some buyers in ITS DAY, 1985, 40 years ago, but NOT today, unless you are a damned fool.
  • Stan Reither Jr. Part throttle efficiency was mentioned earlier in a postThis type of reciprocating engine opens the door to achieve(slightly) variable stroke which would provide variable mechanical compression ratio adjustments for high vacuum (light load) or boost(power) conditions IMO
  • Joe65688619 Keep in mind some of these suppliers are not just supplying parts, but assembled components (easy example is transmissions). But there are far more, and the more they are electronically connected and integrated with rest of the platform the more complex to design, engineer, and manufacture. Most contract manufacturers don't make a lot of money in the design and engineering space because their customers to that. Commodity components can be sourced anywhere, but there are only a handful of contract manufacturers (usually diversified companies that build all kinds of stuff for other brands) can engineer and build the more complex components, especially with electronics. Every single new car I've purchased in the last few years has had some sort of electronic component issue: Infinti (battery drain caused by software bug and poorly grounded wires), Acura (radio hiss, pops, burps, dash and infotainment screens occasionally throw errors and the ignition must be killed to reboot them, voice nav, whether using the car's system or CarPlay can't seem to make up its mind as to which speakers to use and how loud, even using the same app on the same trip - I almost jumped in my seat once), GMC drivetrain EMF causing a whine in the speakers that even when "off" that phased with engine RPM), Nissan (didn't have issues until 120K miles, but occassionally blew fuses for interior components - likely not a manufacturing defect other than a short developed somewhere, but on a high-mileage car that was mechanically sound was too expensive to fix (a lot of trial and error and tracing connections = labor costs). What I suspect will happen is that only the largest commodity suppliers that can really leverage their supply chain will remain, and for the more complex components (think bumper assemblies or the electronics for them supporting all kinds of sensors) will likley consolidate to a handful of manufacturers who may eventually specialize in what they produce. This is part of the reason why seemingly minor crashes cost so much - an auto brand does nst have the parts on hand to replace an integrated sensor , nor the expertice as they never built them, but bought them). And their suppliers, in attempt to cut costs, build them in way that is cheap to manufacture (not necessarily poorly bulit) but difficult to replace without swapping entire assemblies or units).I've love to see an article on repair costs and how those are impacting insurance rates. You almost need gap insurance now because of how quickly cars depreciate yet remain expensive to fix (orders more to originally build, in some cases). No way I would buy a CyberTruck - don't want one, but if I did, this would stop me. And it's not just EVs.
  • Joe65688619 I agree there should be more sedans, but recognize the trend. There's still a market for performance oriented-drivers. IMHO a low budget sedan will always be outsold by a low budget SUV. But a sports sedan, or a well executed mid-level sedan (the Accord and Camry) work. Smaller market for large sedans except I think for an older population. What I'm hoping to see is some consolidation across brands - the TLX for example is not selling well, but if it was offered only in the up-level configurations it would not be competing with it's Honda sibling. I know that makes the market smaller and niche, but that was the original purpose of the "luxury" brands - badge-engineering an existing platform at a relatively lower cost than a different car and sell it with a higher margin for buyers willing and able to pay for them. Also creates some "brand cachet." But smart buyers know that simple badging and slightly better interiors are usually not worth the cost. Put the innovative tech in the higher-end brands first, differentiate they drivetrain so it's "better" (the RDX sells well for Acura, same motor and tranmission, added turbo which makes a notable difference compared to the CRV). The sedan in many Western European countries is the "family car" as opposed to micro and compact crossovers (which still sell big, but can usually seat no more than a compact sedan).