Ex Lincoln Chief Designer Joins Nissan Design America As VP

It didn’t take long for the mystery of design director David Woodhouse’s sudden departure from Lincoln and Ford to clear up.

As it turns out, the British designer was poached by Nissan Design America (NDA) where he will serve as vice president. In his new role, Lincoln’s former design director and Ford’s former director of global strategic design “will lead all Nissan and Infiniti design activities in North America.” He will also serve on the company’s Global Nissan Design Management Committee.

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“As we celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Nissan Design America, I am pleased that David Woodhouse will be leading and inspiring our talented team in San Diego,” said Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan Motor’s senior vice president for Global Design.

“David’s talent, leadership, and vision will ensure that NDA shapes an exciting future for the Infiniti and Nissan brands as well as groundbreaking user experience concepts for our customers for years to come,” the executive added.

No further details about Woodhouse’s role at Nissan Design America have been released but, then again, it’s pretty clear that he will have the last word when it comes to the design of all future Nissan and Infiniti production and concept vehicles for North America.

His influence may go beyond the region, however, as NDA designs vehicles for global markets with a particular emphasis on the North American region. The studio works in close collaboration with its global design counterparts, as well as with Nissan Technical Centers in Japan and North America.

Nissan Design America headquarters in San Diego, California

Founded in 1979, Nissan Design America was the Japanese automaker’s first design studio outside of Japan. Today, it is a “full-production design studio capable of handling all phases of automotive design development, from exploratory to production.”

With 25 years of global automotive design expertise behind him, David Woodhouse has worked for important brands including BMW, Mini, Range Rover, Cadillac, Ford and Lincoln.

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  • nastinupe

    VP multiplies those stock options a thousand fold. Good move. Nissan is a much larger global brand.

    • Bo Hanan


  • Craig

    The Nissan Town Car. Hmm… Sounds pretty good to me!

    • Eythan Aldrich

      hmm….nissan president revival? hmmm….

  • WalthamDan

    Hopefully he can tone down Nissan’s chrome buck tooth front design

    • illogicalPotato

      The V-Motion comes from the top.. lol I don’t think it’s going anywhere.

    • Dennis Scipio

      I don’t see the problem with them.

  • Andrewthecarguy

    It’s all about the money ain’t it?

    • Bo Hanan

      It’s about “knowing your value.” And in his industry I would do exactly what he did in a minute. I bet the new job also comes with more creative control and more $$$ to play with designs.

      • Andrewthecarguy

        So…it’s all about the money 🙂

  • Porkopolis

    I think adding recent Lincoln design cues to Nissans will maintain consistently boring designs. Well done.

  • Rocket

    You know he’s getting paid generously to make that move. But Nissan and Infiniti need the help, so it was probably a good investment on Nissan’s part.

    • brn

      Yep, smart move by Nissan.

  • He did great work with Lincoln.

    • Mr. EP9

      Hopefully his replacement can continue it and not regress backwards.

    • Dennis Scipio

      I hate that you’re right.

  • Marc Gruben

    We won’t see the results of his influence for some time. The vehicles that’ll be coming up for redesign in the near future are Maxima, Pathfinder and Murano. New Rogue is already locked in. The Infiniti Q70, 50, QX60, and the Armada / QX80 are also due. Don’t know how far along the redesigns for the aforementioned models have already progressed; one can only hope the designs have not been finalized and there’s still time for him to exercise his influence.

  • Liam Paul

    Good luck on not getting lock up on a fake charge when Nissan wants to get rid of you . Any person working for that company is crazy!


  • brn

    Toyota should be so smart. If they could do some decent exterior design, their sales would be even higher.

  • SteersUright

    Well done Nissan. When you need talent, go buy it. Still shocked Cadillac hasnt learned this and poached designers and engineers from Porsche, Audi, Lexus, etc.

  • emjayay

    What is the relationship between the NA studio and Japan? Aren’t most Nissan models sold in the US and elsewhere like those in Japan? Who’s in charge of European design – like the top selling Qashkai, which looks just like the US Rogue except maybe a little smaller. How the whole worldwide corporation works is what matters.

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