Nissan’s Juke, Kicks dominate Gulf’s small urban crossover sector

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2018 Nissan Juke

SINCE pioneering the segment with the Murano back in 2003 before following up with the X-Trail, Qashqai and Juke, Nissan has dominated the global market in crossover vehicles. That dominance has been underscored in the Middle East with Nissan capturing almost 60% of small urban crossover sales in the region. The Juke and newly launched Kicks models are vying for top spot in different markets.

Sales figures for the year to date show that Nissan has captured 59.7% of the B-segment (small car) urban crossover market with the Juke accounting for 44.2% of that share and the recently introduced Kicks taking already taking a healthy 15.5% (figures exclude KSA).

The Kicks has proved an instant hit in Gulf markets. Aimed squarely at urban driving environments it combines a robust exterior and elevated driving position with compact dimensions for agile performance and maneuverability. The body features an advanced aerodynamic design, which optimizes fuel consumption and minimizes noise. Kicks is also one of the first Nissan models to realize the concept of Intelligent Mobility, initially presented at the Geneva Auto Show in 2016.

Intelligent Mobility uses smart, relevant technology to make the driver’s life easier while also making advances towards Nissan’s long-term goal of zero emission and zero fatality motoring. Its qualities have helped the newcomer to eclipse its Juke stablemate in the UAE, making Kicks the top seller in its segment within the country.

“The car-buying public here in the Middle East is known to be a discerning one and it has been heartening to see how they have embraced Kicks and yet continue to buy Juke in considerable numbers,” said Kalyana Sivagnanam, Nissan’s Regional Vice President, Marketing and Sales for the Africa, Middle East, and India region. “We are especially pleased to see how, from a standing start, the Kicks has rapidly established itself as a market leader. The all-new Nissan Kicks has become a popular choice among the compact crossover segment customers due to the advanced Intelligent Mobility technology that it is packed with, a car which sits at the more comfortable end of the market.”

Among the highlights of the Kicks’ technological offerings are the Around View Monitor and Moving Object Detection systems, which use four integrated cameras to show an overall view of the car and warn the driver in case of any unseen dangers.

The suite of technology available on Kicks also extends to dynamic innovations to maximize safety and comfort. Among them are Chassis Dynamic Control, Active Trace Control, Active Ride Control, and Active Engine Braking. These innovations work discreetly to provide key interventions to ensure the Kicks remains stable and comfortable for occupants at all times. Kicks is the first vehicle in its segment to offer these innovations.

Kicks’ rapid success is in many ways reminiscent of Juke, which was first shown as the Nissan Qazana concept car at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show before entering production and going on sale to the public in 2010. Juke’s bold, dynamic styling instantly captured the imagination of the motoring press and public alike, ensuring the order books began to fill up well before the car began to appear, initially on the roads of Japan, Europe and North America before being launched globally. — SG

It is no exaggeration to say that Juke completely shook up the small car segment back then and left other manufacturers scrambling to catch up. Even now, seven years later, Juke’s styling which combines elements of SUV, sports car and hatchback, still looks fresh and exciting, while technologically it remains a real tour de force.

“We are pleased to see a healthy rivalry developing between Kicks and Juke in the ultra-competitive urban crossover B-segment,” added Kalyana Sivagnanam. “While there is some overlap in terms of pricing, the two models are pitched at different buyers, with Kicks being favored more by young professionals and Juke appealing to those with young families. In both cases, customers appreciate the way these models stylishly complement a busy urban lifestyle while offering technology that it both useful and important in real world scenarios.” — SG


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