Nissan India’s latest launch for the Indian car market – the Kicks compact SUV – has managed to clock 1,370 units in January 2019. The Kicks is now the best selling car in Nissan’s range. The now discontinued Terrano, which continues to be supplied to dealers until stocks exhaust, managed 16 units while the Micra hatchback did 96 units and the Sunny sedan managed 18 units. To sum it up, Nissan managed to sell just 1,500 units in January 2019.
The saving grace for the brand came from Datsun – a low cost sub-brand from the Japanese automaker. The Datsun range of cars, consisting of the RediGO, Go and Go+ managed to together sell about 1,700 units. While these numbers are still too little for a budget car brand, they manage to take Nissan’s monthly total to over 3,000 units, failing which the Japanese automaker would be among the four lowest selling car makers in India.
In India, Nissan has been relying primarily on exports for the past few years, and the Micra was the brand’s biggest export. However, the new Micra that’s sold globally is a lot different from the version that’s sold in India. This means that Nissan’s thrust on the export front is also weakening. So, it’s up to the Kicks to bring in the big numbers for the Nissan brand in the Indian market.
Launched in January 2019, the Kicks rivals the Renault Duster and the Hyundai Creta. The SUV is priced at Rs. 9.55 lakhs, ex-showroom Delhi, which makes it slightly cheaper than the best selling Hyundai Creta but much more costlier than the Renault Duster. Notably, the Nissan Kicks shares the B-Zero platform with the Duster, and is offered with similar engine options.
The Kicks is offered with 2 engines – a 1.5 liter-4 cylinder petrol with 104 Bhp-142 Nm, and a 1.5 liter K9K turbocharged diesel with 108 Bhp-248 Nm. Both engines get manual gearboxes as standard, with the petrol having a 5 speeder while the diesel offers a 6 speeder. There’s no automatic gearboxes on offer even as an option, and both engines of the SUV drive the front wheels.
The Kicks is a feature-rich SUV, and comes with a few features that are best-in-segment. For instance, the Bird Eye camera that the SUV is equipped with is something that no other compact SUV offers in India. Other key features on the Kicks include ambient lighting, smart card-based keyless entry, four airbags, ABS+EBD, ESP, anti-intrusion bar for the pedals and an armrest for the driver and front passenger.
Nissan is now shifting focus to more premium cars, and is leaving the budget car segment for the Datsun sub-brand. The automaker plans to launch a slew of SUVs to capitalize on the high SUV demand in India. These SUVs will straddle almost every segment of the Indian market. With the Kicks, Nissan has just made a start, and the future holds many more SUVs from the Japanese automaker.