Will the turbo ‘kick’ in sales for Nissan?
Nissan is all set to launch the Kicks with a 156hp, 1.3 Litre Turbo Petrol engine! As per Nissan, the 2020 Kicks will get a BS6 compliant HR13 DDT, 1.3 L four-cylinder, turbo-charged petrol engine delivering power of 156hp and 245 Nm torque. The motor has been developed by Daimler in alliance with Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi, and makes use of the cylinder coating technology that Nissan GT-R’s engine employs. The engine will be mated to an automatic X-tronic CVT that shall also features a 8-step M mode for manual transmission preferences.
Kicks was an aspirational launch for Nissan in 2019. The company was already reeling with declining volumes and needed a strong product to get back into shape. The Kicks was obviously a promising product and did pull in some hopes initially. But it had to withstand competition from the mighty Hyundai Creta and later Kia changed the game entirely with Seltos. Though a capable product; Kicks could not bring the expected sales for the brand. Nissan could sell only 5,745 units since launch (past 16 months).
Jan’19 was the best selling month for Kicks where 1,370 units were dispatched to the channel partners/dealers.
The model has since then fared <1k units and even bottomed to 79 units in May’19.
The upcoming 1.3-litre turbo-petrol engine of the 2020 Nissan Kicks shall make it the most powerful option in its segment! (atleast on paper). Do note that both Creta and Seltos have the 1.5-litre petrol and 1.4-litre Turbo GDI petrol powertrains. While the 1.5-litre mill makes 115PS and 144Nm of torque, the 1.4-litre Turbo GDI motor delivers 140PS and 242Nm of torque. Hence; will the Kicks now be able to dent Creta/Seltos’s volumes and gain its ground in the segment? Shall also depend on the feature list that the updated Kicks shall offer.