Thieves took some of the tooling that was about to be installed at the factory in Mexico.
The next Kicks will now enter production in June 2024 instead of December this year.
According to dealers, the next Kicks will be more of an SUV and it will feature AWD.
A recent theft in Mexico has delayed the introduction of the next-generation Nissan Kicks for about five more months.
Indeed, thieves made out with some of the tooling that was ready to be installed in the Aguascalientes factory where the new model will be manufactured.
The company hasn’t said which of its suppliers has suffered the theft, nor which part of the vehicle has been affected.
According to supplier consultant Laurie Harbor, such an event is rare, but not unheard of. He also says that if the supplier is not able to recover the stolen tooling, it will have to have it manufactured again, which can take anywhere from three to six months.
This last possibility is probably why Nissan now says that the 2025 Kicks will enter production in June 2024 instead of December of this year.
This is not the first time the new Kicks was delayed either since its failure to pass crash tests reportedly had already added a month and a half to its development cycle.
While the current Kicks is not the best-selling Nissan model, dealerships across the United States and Canada have been asking for a new generation for a while.
Indeed, the current model was introduced back in 2018, and it is now starting to look and feel dated when compared to more recent competitors.
In addition, the Kicks is one of the most affordable new vehicles on the market in North America, which makes it an important model for the brand and its dealers.
Furthermore, Kicks only sit on dealer lots for about 23 days (half as long as the brand’s average) and 95% of them end up being financed, versus 80% for the rest of the brand.
This means that dealers quite like the Kicks because it is able to generate a substantial amount of money for them, despite its low price.
In the face of growing competition, however, some dealers are worried the current model will have more and more trouble competing, despite sales having increased over last year.
According to some Nissan dealers who were given a preview of the next generation of the sub-compact crossover, this 2025 model will be higher and boxier than the current model in order to look more like an SUV. Slimmer headlamps and taillamps could also help it resemble the automaker’s latest SUVs more closely.
Under the hood, a larger engine is expected and all-wheel drive should be offered for the first time. While Nissan has yet to confirm this, there is also a possibility that North America could gain access to the hybrid powertrain that has powered the Kicks in other world markets before.
Source: Automotive News