Nissan is mulling the idea of adding its upcoming, Brazilian-made Kicks CUV to its US portfolio, as a more affordable and conventional-looking proposal than the similarly sized Juke.
No official decision has been taken so far, but the Japanese firm’s new Vice President for Product Planning, Michael Bunce, told WardsAuto that the company sees a future for the small crossover.
“Certainly we see the opportunity for more mainstream crossovers that are less niche, and we see Honda and others in that space and are taking it very seriously“, said Bunce.
The Nissan North America official says that the Kicks will be less powerful, but more affordable than the current Juke, which starts from $20,250, placing it more directly against the mainstream Honda HR-V and Chevy Trax.
The report says it is unclear whether the Kicks will outright replace the Juke or if it will be an additional model in Nissan’s U.S. lineup, as Bunce says the automaker is studying if the B-CUV “remains in the (U.S.) market or not.”
Nissan trademarked the Kicks name with the Patent and Trademark Office in the States, in late 2014, and Carlos Ghosn traveled to Brazil earlier this month to announce a production version, based on a concept shown at the 2014 Sao Paulo Motor Show.
The Kicks will be built in Rio de Janeiro, at the manufacturer’s Resende plant, and it will be sold globally (aside from U.S.), this year, kicking off with Latin American markets.
Note: Nissan Kicks Concept pictured