The road to the next-generation Nissan Kicks has been met with unexpected bumps, as a recent theft of tooling from a Mexican supplier has led to a delay in production. Sources familiar with the matter revealed to Automotive News that as a result, Nissan has been forced to postpone the US launch of the new crossover. The automaker's plans to commence production in Aguascalientes, Mexico, have been rescheduled (again) to kick off in June, followed by the start of American deliveries shortly thereafter.
This unfortunate delay marks the second setback for the revamped Kicks. Originally slated to begin production in December, the vehicle's timeline was previously extended by about a month and a half due to its failure to pass crash safety tests.
Gallery: Next-Generation Nissan Kicks Spy Photo
The latest obstacle, which tacks on approximately five additional months to the timeline, stems from the theft of critical tooling at a supplier factory in Mexico. While the sources did not disclose the identity of the supplier or the specific Kicks part affected, the repercussions are significant. Laurie Harbour, CEO of Harbour Results, a consultant specializing in suppliers, noted that equipment theft, even involving a small vehicle component, can disrupt the production process considerably. Just a single missing part can grind production to a halt, highlighting the delicate interplay of automotive manufacturing.
Nissan has officially acknowledged the delay in the launch of the next-generation Kicks, although it refrained from providing specific details regarding the incident. Brian Brockman, a spokesperson for Nissan, explained, "The arrival of the next-generation Kicks is delayed slightly due to an unexpected factor outside the company's control. Until then, we expect to have strong availability of the current model, which continues to be one of the most popular vehicles in its segment."
The next-generation Kicks is currently under development and promises not only a refreshed design but also a host of technological upgrades. Spy photos have offered a glimpse of its sleeker, more upright front end and sporty rear design, while the cabin is expected to receive a digital instrument cluster, updated infotainment software, and advanced safety features. The powertrain options for the new model remain undisclosed, leaving room for speculation about potential additions such as all-wheel drive and hybrid powertrains, which could cater to a wider range of preferences.