Nissan has announced that the brand will produce a new crossover that will be sold globally, starting with Latin American markets, from 2016.
The new model was inspired by the Kicks Concept car presented at the 2014 Sao Paulo Motor Show, and it will retain the Kicks name for the production version, according to the automaker.
Following an investment of R$ 750 million (US$192 million), the Nissan Kicks will be produced at Nissan's Resende Industrial Complex in Rio de Janeiro State. The facility was inaugurated in 2014 and currently produces compact vehicles March and Versa. After the start of production, Nissan said it expects to hire 600 new employees and start a second shift in Resende facility.
The Nissan Kicks Concept debuted at the 2014 São Paulo Motor Show, followed by a showing at the 2015 Buenos Aires Motor Show. The Kicks prototype marked the evolution of the Extrem concept vehicle originally presented in Sao Paulo in 2012. Since then, Nissan said it has continued to explore Brazilian and Latin American cultures, styles and colors within the vehicle design and development process.
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. The teams currently are engaged in the design and development of the production model, according to the automaker.
As well as its introduction in Latin American markets, ¬Nissan said continues to study the business case for launching Kicks in other regions.