Nissan unveils Kicks compact SUV to take on Hyundai Creta next year
Japanese car major Nissan Motor on Thursday unveiled its compact SUV Kicks in India that would be launched in January next year and take on the like of Hyundai Creta and stablemate's Renault Duster.
While the brand is part of Nissan's global line up of product, the Indian version of the car that was displayed on Thursday is significantly different from the one that is sold internationally. While the global Kicks is based on the company's V platform, The Indian version is based on the same B0 platform that has spawned its existing Terrano SUV. In terms of dimensions it is longer and wider than the Creta but has a 9mm lower ground clearance.
The Kicks will have the same 1.6-litre petrol and 1.5-litre diesel engines that are available with the Terrano in India. The petrol motor develops 103 PS power and while the diesel engine has two versions with a peak power of 85 PS and 109 PS with corresponding torque figures of 200 NM and 245 NM, respectively. The international version of the car also uses a 1.6-litre petrol motor but is tuned differently to deliver a peak power of 125PS. There is also a smaller 1.4-litre petrol motor available in China.
"We are excited and proud to unveil the engaging and provocative design of the new Kicks. Nissan is committed to India and we are building the foundations to succeed," said Thomas Kuehl, President, Nissan India Operations. "The new Nissan Kicks is a testimony of our commitment to India. With a progressive SUV design and advanced technology, it is bound to appeal the new age urban adventure seeker. As a part of the India Strategy, Nissan will bring the best of global Nissan products and technology to our customers in India."
The new Kicks offers a host of established design signatures and features like floating roof design created by blacked out pillars with roof rail and signature LED day time running lights, shark fin antenna, front fog lamps and door mounted ORVM with indicators. The car is shid with 17-inch five-spoke machined-alloy wheels.
Despite repeated attempts, including reviving its sub brand Datsun five years ago for emerging markets, Nissan has found it tough to crack the Indian market with a cumulative market share of just 1.13 percent. In the first six months of this financial year, the company sold just 19,742 cars registering a near 26 per cent decline. In recent times however, it has been trying to resurrect its brand in the country. Last month, it announced a fresh impetus to its India operations that would mean an upgrade at its manufacturing facility in Chennai, doubling the number of dealerships in three years and hiring more engineers. It also said it would demarcate Nissan into a more premium-oriented car maker with more SUVs in the line up, while Datsun will focus on more entry-level mass market cars.
Earlier this month, it relaunched the Go and Go+ brands under Datsun with 28 new features including standard dual airbags. The launch of the Kicks is expected to start the new journey for the mother brand.