Nissan announced today that starting 2016, it will be producing a crossover based on the 2014 Kicks Concept car, which first debuted at the 2014 Sao Paulo Motor Show.
The production car will retain the ‘Kicks’ name, and will be produced at Nissan's Resende Industrial Complex in Rio de Janeiro State, which has since been upgraded with a USD 192 million investment. The plant also produces the March and Almera (sold as Versa in Brazil).
Since the March (available in Thailand and Indonesia) and Almera are sister-cars, it might not be too far-fetched to think that the Kicks could be another spinoff from Nissan’s V-platform which currently underpins the March and Almera. It could be analogous to the Honda HR-V, which shares many parts with a Honda Jazz and City.
Although the Kicks was originally conceived for the Brazilian market, Nissan said the production model will eventually be sold globally, after its initial commercial debut in Latin American markets in 2016.
"Nissan invented the first crossover in 2003, with the Murano," said Carlos Ghosn, president and chief executive officer of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.. "Since then, we've established our global crossover leadership with vehicles like JUKE, Qashqai and X-Trail – which have been great successes. The Kicks will bring Nissan´s unique Crossover expertise to more regions."
Led by Nissan's Global Design Center in Japan, the Kicks Concept was conceived through a collaboration between Nissan Design America (NDA) in San Diego and Nissan Design America - Rio (NDA-R), the company's local satellite design studio.
There’s no confirmation yet on whether will the model be available for markets in the ASEAN trade bloc like Thailand or Malaysia, but the company said “Nissan continues to study the business case for launching Kicks in other regions, underlining the brand's commitment to global Crossover leadership.”