Nissan Motor's crossover and SUV sales worldwide rose about 12% year on year in 2017 to around 2m vehicles, driven by the Kicks small crossover launched in 2016 (and in Brazilian production last year), the Rogue/X-Trail and Qashqai compact models, a refreshed North American market Armada full size SUV and the Infiniti QX30.

Sales of Nissan brand models increased by about 13% while Infiniti variants were up almost 9%. The automaker sold an extra 230,000 units last year.

The Kicks had its first full year of sales in Mexico, Latin America and China, reaching nearly 109,000 sales. It launches this year in the US and Canada.

"The improvement in our global crossover and SUV sales made a significant contribution to Nissan's growth in 2017," said Nissan EVP Daniele Schillaci. "We expect our momentum to accelerate in 2018."

The automaker also will launch an Infiniti QX50 luxury midsize crossover and start sales of the Datsun Cross in Indonesia.

The Rogue/X-Trail and Qashqai, all on the same platform, achieved about 1.38m sales in 2017, up 10%, making the platform the automaker's top architecture by volume.

The updated US Armada continued strong sales of the Patrol in the Middle East helped sales of that platform increase 79% to close to 80,000 vehicles proving, Nissan said, "full-size, body-on-frame SUVs are still in high demand by customers all over the world".

QX30 sales rose 97% in 2017 to about 32,000 during the Infiniti model's first full year. The QX80 achieved about 21,000 sales.

In the past five years, the premium midsize crossover segment has quadrupled in China and more than doubled in the US.

Overall, Nissan's record crossover and SUV sales were boosted by a 94% improvement in Latin America and 16% upticks in both North America and China.

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