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Nissan’s Biggest Growth Area Probably Comes As No Surprise

By now, we know consumers across the planet have an insatiable appetite for SUVs. But if there was any doubt, Nissan revealed a few figures recently that highlight their SUV and crossover business. Let’s just say business is good. Nissan’s global crossover and SUV sales increased more than 12 percent last year to over 2 million vehicles. By comparison, Infiniti crossovers and SUVs were up almost nine percent last year, with the QX30 seeing a 97 percent sales increase alone. In total, Nissan’s global crossover and SUV volume rose by nearly 230,000 vehicles in 2017.

The all-new Kicks played a significant part in Nissan’s global SUV expansion. The smaller crossover has already been on sale for the last year in Mexico, Latin America, and China, moving some 109,000 units. The Kicks made its North American debut at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show and will arrive later this year in the United States and Canada.

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2018 Nissan Kicks. Photo: Nissan North America.

Heavy Hitters

Other big names include the Rogue, X-Trail, and Qashqai compact models. The platform mates generated more than 1.38 million sales worldwide last year – an increase of 10 percent – meaning it’s now Nissan’s top platform by volume. The larger and recently refreshed Armada remained strong in the United States, along with the Patrol in the Middle East. Sales of that platform increased a whopping 79 percent worldwide to nearly 80,000 units.

“The improvement in our global crossover and SUV sales made a significant contribution to Nissan’s growth in 2017,” explained Daniele Schillaci, Executive Vice President, Nissan. “We expect our momentum to accelerate in 2018 as we expand Kicks availability to the U.S. and Canada, execute the global launch of the new Infiniti QX50 luxury midsize crossover, and start sales of the Datsun Cross in Indonesia.”

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2019 Infiniti QX50. Photo: Infiniti Motor Company Ltd.

New Technology & Strong Markets

Infiniti plans to launch the QX50 next month. The midsize crossover is built on a new platform and features a unique variable compression ratio engine called a VC-Turbo. Nissan says the QX50 is in the “sweet spot” of one of the fastest-growing segments in the world, citing that the premium midsize crossover market has quadrupled in China and more than doubled in the U.S. Elsewhere around the globe, Nissan’s strong crossover and SUV sales were helped by a 94 percent improvement in Latin America.

Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan. He studies mechanical engineering at Wayne State University, serves on the Board of Directors for the Ally Jolie Baldwin Foundation, and is a loyal Detroit Lions fan.

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