Since he first joined the San Diego based Nissan Design Studio in 1988, and until his recent appointment at Nissan’s new design chief this year, Alfonso Albaisa’s star has been on the rise. He’s held a number of important design positions over the years, some of which have helped to create many of Nissan’s most iconic vehicles. Which is why after many years working with his mentor Shiro Nakamura, the automaker’s design chief since 1999, Alfonso is ready to take on the mantel of Nissan’s Chief of Design.
Under Nakamura’s watch some of the biggest sellers in Nissan history were launched. These include the Murano, the 370Z, the GT-R, and the Juke, all of which have helped inspire some of Mr Albaisa’s first words when he first took over in April and mentioned to the press in a joking manner that “I’ve got to follow Shiro, how does anybody do that?”
Moving Automotive Design Forward at Nissan
Albaisa is Nissan’s first ever non-Japanese design director, and he’s already got some clear thoughts on the way Nissan’s design ethos will move forward, as can be seen by his comment below:
“There is clearly Japanese thought and sensitivities in the look and shape of our cars, but what does it mean today to be a Japanese car company? Especially for Nissan, which has so many Westerners involved in directing the company?”
Albaisa will now manage a massive design force of 700 people around the world, so if ever there is going to be a design revolution at Nissan there is no better time than now. But we’ll have to wait a few months to see where the new design chief will be taking the brand, as the first New Nissan Vehicle to be launched under his tenure as Design Chief will only be seen in January 2018 at the Detroit Auto Show. At this point, nobody knows if it will be a small car, American-sized sedan, utility vehicle, or even a large commercial vehicle. What we do know however is that there are currently 30 different Nissan Design projects on the go across the globe so anything is possible. Added to this is the fact that Albaisa’s creative approach is most certainly going to be something different to what Nissan fans are used to.
Keep an eye out on all future Nissan design launches by following this blog.