Your Ex Is Doing Fine: Nissan Just Manufactured Its One Millionth Juke

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

The phrase “Nisan just built its one-millionth Juke” would probably be the first question on a Voight-Kampff test for automotive lovers residing in North America. The information is totally incompatible with everything you thought you understood about the world around you, and processing it begins scrambling your brain as you frantically hunt for an escape from it. An open window? The sweet release of death?

Relax. While the news is scary and difficult to comprehend, don’t forget that there is an entire world out there with a populace that’s not subject to the same predilections as ours. The Juke may have been too funky to become a massive hit in the United States and Canada, but it had a few good years and Nissan planted seeds all across the globe.

Japanese sales of the model almost matched the U.S., despite having a comparatively minuscule population. Volume also exceeded expectations in Europe, and China has a weird luxury version of the Juke called the Infiniti ESQ. But it wasn’t a good fit for North America and sales suffered as a result, forcing Nissan to call in the Kicks as the Juke’s successor after annual deliveries started plunging a few years ago.

If you haven’t noticed, a subset of our staff doesn’t have many bad things to say about the replacement crossover. The Kicks is cheaper, boasts a more usable interior space, and isn’t without a personality of its own. But the Juke wasn’t a terrible car, it was just too weird for mainstream tastes. If you could be charmed by (or completely ignore) its bizarro styling, you’d find yourself with a fun little runabout.

Honestly, we think people will look back at the Juke with a quiet fondness in a few years — if only because the subcompact crossover segment has become a toilet bowl the industry refuses to flush. There’s some really tepid piss in that category and the Juke doesn’t deserve to be thrown in with the likes of them (nor does the Kicks).

The rest of the world seemed to notice that. It didn’t mind that the Juke was actually less practical than a similarly priced hatchback. That’s why the millionth Juke rolled off the line at the Sunderland Plant in the United Kingdom this week. Nissan estimates a new Juke is built at the plant every 105 seconds.

“Reaching the one million milestone is a fantastic achievement for any model,” said Kevin Fitzpatrick, Senior vice president of manufacturing, supply chain management and purchasing for Nissan Europe.”Eight years ago we had never seen anything like the Juke before – it created an entirely new segment and brought a distinctive never-seen-before look to the market. Fast forward to today and we have one million customers and Juke remains the segment leader [in Europe].”

Nissan sold over 91,774 Jukes inside of Europe last year, while the U.S. only saw 10,157 deliveries.

Hearing that the Juke is doing so well an ocean away is a little bit like finding out your ex got married. You broke up because it wasn’t working and there’s no real animosity between you, but you can’t help but wonder what might have been if you had tried a little harder or if everyone was willing to meet somewhere in the middle. You’re glad they’re doing well, but a part of you wonders what could have been as you look out into the driveway and see a Toyota CH-R or Chevrolet Trax looking back at you.

[Images: Nissan]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Cdotson Cdotson on Jul 18, 2018

    I thought interior packaging on these was horrible. American-sized people can't make it work, not even as a car only the driver ever sat in. I handily exceed the 95th percentile male size and I am not surprised this was a hit in Japan where men are closer to the 5th percentile American female in size. Being based on the Versa I expected far more from the Juke's interior. The previous more French-like Versa hatch had incredible interior room and good visibility. The Juke ruined both.

  • WallMeerkat WallMeerkat on Jul 19, 2018

    On this side of the Atlantic the popularity is really inexplicable. It's a horrible ugly little pretend SUV that is inevitably driven by terrible drivers who buy these type of "sit up high" cars because they feel safe as they cause mayhem on the roads. If it's your ex, you're welcome to them back. Please. About 20 years ago Nissan Europe used to build some really great cars. Where did it all go wrong?

  • JK I grew up with Dodge trucks in the US, and now live in Turin, Italy, the home of Fiat. I don't think Italians view this as an Italian company either. There are constant news articles and protests about how stalantis is moving operations out of Italy. Jeep is strangely popular here though. I think last time I looked at stelantis's numbers, Jeep was the only thing saving them from big big problems.
  • Bd2 Oh yeah, funny how Trumpers (much less the Orange Con, himself) are perfectly willing to throw away the Constitution...
  • Bd2 Geeze, Anal sure likes to spread his drivelA huge problem was Fisher and his wife - who overspent when they were flush with cash and repeatedly did things ad hoc and didn't listen to their employees (who had more experience when it came to auto manufacturing, engineering, etc).
  • Tassos My Colleague Mike B bought one of these (the 300 SEL, same champagne color) new around June 1990. I thought he paid $50k originally but recently he told me it was $62k. At that time my Accord 1990 Coupe LX cost new, all included, $15k. So today the same car means $150k for the S class and $35k-40k for the Accord. So those %0 or 62k , these were NOT worthless, Idiot Joe Biden devalued dollars, so he paid AN ARM AND A LEG. And he babied the car, he really loved it, despite its very weak I6 engine with a mere 177 HP and 188 LBFT, and kept it forever. By the time he asked me to drive it (to take him to the dealer because his worthless POS Buick Rainier "SUV" needed expensive repairs (yes, it was a cheap Buick but he had to shell out thousands), the car needed a lot of suspension work, it drove like an awful clunker. He ended up donating it after 30 years or so. THIS POS is no different, and much older. Its CHEAPSKATE owner should ALSO donate it to charity instead of trying to make a few measly bucks off its CARCASS. Pathetic!
  • RHD The re-paint looks like it was done with a four-inch paintbrush. As far as VWs go, it's a rebadged Seat... which is still kind of a VW, made in Mexico from a Complete Knock-Down kit. 28 years in Mexico being driven like a flogged mule while wearing that ridiculous rear spoiler is a tough life, but it has actually survived... It's unique (to us), weird, funky (very funky), and certainly not worth over five grand plus the headaches of trying to get it across the border and registered at the local DMV.