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Nissan Juke retires

by Ronan Glon

The Juke is dead; long live the Kicks.

Buyers looking to put a brand-new Nissan Juke in their driveway might have missed their chance. Nissan has stopped producing the model for the North American market, according to a recent report.

The news doesn't come as a surprise. In May 2017, Leftlane reported the Juke faced an uncertain future due to slow sales. Annual volume peaked at 38,184 units in 2014 and dropped to 19,577 two years later. The model registered a 48-percent decline in 2017, dropping to 10,957 sales, and it has collapsed by 91 percent during the first six months of the year. Automotive News points out Nissan always positioned the Juke as a "not for everybody" product but sales have dropped too low for executives to justify keeping it around.

Don't look for a second-generation Juke. Nissan already replaced the model when it launched the Kicks. Both models are comparably sized and priced but the Kicks ditches the Juke's wild design for a more conventional look that follows both recent design trends and Nissan's latest design language. When we drove the Kicks, we concluded it ditched the Juke's niche appeal for mainstream practicality.

The story is different in Europe, where the Juke remains a relatively strong seller. Nissan sold 95,000 examples of the model last year. Buyers are drawn to its affordable price and its compact, city-friendly dimensions. The Juke is getting old across the pond, too, but it's likely to get a true replacement in the coming years. Watch out; Shiro Nakamura, Nissan's former global design chief, told Automotive News he wanted to make the second-generation Juke even more polarizing.