The upscale brand’s global head of design Karim Habib has announced his departure from Infiniti and will be replaced by Taisuke Nakamura starting September 1. “As key member of our global design organization, Karim was a key collaborator and leader helping Nissan Motor Limited shape the electrification of Infiniti,” Albaisa said in a statement cited by Autonews Europe.
49-year-old Nakamura is a Nissan veteran having worked for the Japanese automaker since 1993. He is the designer responsible for the Infiniti QX Inspiration and Prototype 10 concept vehicles. Nakamura is currently program design director responsible for global design strategy as well as concept car and production vehicle design. He reports to Nissan’s global design boss, Alfonso Albaisa.
Karim Habib’s sudden departure (he’s been with Infiniti since 2017) is officially caused by the Lebanese-Canadian’s decision "to pursue other opportunities." This is the latest executive reshuffle at Infiniti following former president Christian Meunier’s decision to join FCA in May.
Habib’s resignation also comes as Infiniti prepares the launch of a new design language centered around a new line of electrified vehicles. Nakamura is apparently the right man for the job as he has already had a leading hand in EV concepts such as the QX Inspiration crossover (pictured below), the retro-styled Prototype 10 open-air race car, and the Qs Inspiration sedan.
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Nakamura is also responsible for the design of other Infiniti concepts including the Emerg-E sports car and Q30 hatchback. He’s also done work for the Nissan brand, including the Qashqai and Nissan Gripz concepts, IMx crossover concept and design development of the Sentra sedan.
Recently, Nissan announced a restructuring plan for Infiniti which includes the brand’s withdrawal from western Europe and the return of its global headquarters to Japan from Hong Kong. The plan will also see Infiniti focus on the U.S. and China markets.