Nissan India has lately not been in the news for any high profile launches nor is it quietly setting the market on fire with its current vehicles. But, according to Thomas Kuehl, president of Nissan India Operations, that's about to change in the coming months.
With a two-brand strategy (Datsun and Nissan), the Japanese manufacturer's Indian arm will have products that will cater to both the budget and premium segments, a couple of which will target the country's most popular SUVs, the Maruti Vitara Brezza and Hyundai Creta.
Speaking about future SUVs, Mr Kuehl told Autocar India:
So, with our two brands, our strategy is to have Datsun cater to the sub-Rs 10 lakh mark, and you will see an SUV there. Nissan will play more in the premium field and the Kicks will launch in this fiscal.
The Kicks has been rumoured to launch in India since the SUV broke cover in the South American markets in May 2016. Despite the confirmation of arrival, the delay can be attributed to localisation efforts in order to make the price highly competitive. The model sold abroad measures 4,295 mm in length, 1,760 mm in width, 1,590 mm in height, has a 2,610 mm wheelbase and a 200 mm ground clearance. Since it's above 4 meters, the Kicks will have to contend with the Hyundai Creta.
It will be based on the fourteen-year-old B0/Logan platform that underpins the Renault Captur, Renault Duster and Nissan Terrano, so expect the Kicks to offer the same engine options as well, which include a 1.5 dCi 4-cyl turbo diesel and a 1.5L H5K 4-cyl petrol. Transmission options could include a 5-speed manual, 6-speed manual and CVT (exclusive to the petrol variant). It's unlikely Nissan will offer the Indian-spec Kicks with AWD.
As for the Datsun SUV, this is the first confirmation we've received of one being in the works. It is reported to be based on the redi-GO's CMF-A platform and measure under 4 meters, thus rivalling the Maruti Vitara Brezza, Ford EcoSport and the Tata Nexon. No diesel power is being planned for the Datsun SUV; instead, the chosen motor is reportedly the turbocharged version of the redi-GO's 1.0L 3-cyl petrol engine which will also power the Renault RBC sub-4m MPV.