8/26/2019 | 1 MINUTE READ

The Amazing Alfonso Albaisa

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You can tell a lot about a person when it comes to handling a staff departure

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INFINITI logo

(Images: INFINITI)

Taisuke Nakamura has been named head of INFINTI Design, effective September 1, having previously been INFINITI program design director, which means he’s been responsible for global design strategy as well as concept car and production vehicle design. Given that INFINITI is one of the few OEMs that still produces and shows concept vehicles, clearly Nakamura has been hard at work. Concepts he worked on include EVs including the INFINITI QX Inspiration, Prototype 10 and Qs Inspiration.

INFINITI Qs

The INFINITI Qs, introduced at Auto Shanghai 2019, one of the electric concepts that Taisuke Nakamura worked on.

Nakamura is replacing Karim Habib, who “is leaving the company to pursue other opportunities.”

Habib became head of INFINITI Design on July 1, 2017, having joined the company from BMW, where he had been head of BMW Design.

Although announcements of appointments and departures usually emphasize the former and are fairly dismissive of the latter, that is not the case here.

Albaisa and Habib

Alfonso Albaisa (left) and Karim Habib (right). Designers of talent. And then some.

The head of INFINITI Design (among others) reports to Alfonso Albaisa, senior vice president of Nissan Global Design.

And Albaisa said, with incredible grace, I think, “As a key member of our global design organization Karim was a key collaborator and leader helping Nissan Motors shape the electrification of INFINITI. In addition to which work on INFINITI he was a key member of Global Design’s Management Committee as we incorporated new technologies, new processes and new directors for Nissan and INFINITI. As a deeply valued member of our family we wish him continued success, happiness and all the best as he seeks new inspiration and achievements outside of Nissan.”

I’ve had the opportunity to speak with Albaisa over the years (e.g., here) and have always found him to be a graceful and gracious individual, but that statement really goes far beyond anything I’ve ever seen, which is usually nothing more than a variation of “good luck,” if even that. Typically it is a slightly veiled “Don’t let the door hit you in the. . . .”

But clearly, Habib’s talent and capabilities earned him much more than that.

All the best to all involved.

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