Karim Habib Leaves Infiniti, Nissan’s Nakamura Replaces Him As Design Chief

Significant changes continue to take place at Nissan in general and Infiniti in particular.

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 alongside the Infiniti Qs Inspiration design study

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.

Also read: Ex Lincoln Chief Designer Joins Nissan Design America As VP

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.

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  • HawkeyeVG

    Looks like BMW man couldn’t keep up. BTW NAKAMURA AGAIN!!!????

  • Six_Tymes

    Good news for Nissan. Nakamura has many design wins that are and have been waiting to be utilized. Now, if Nissan would just hire Carlos Ghosn back, I would again support them and buy cars from them again. And yes, I kow they wont ever do that, nor will I ever buy from them again since they railroaded Ghosn. Even so, I up voted this news story.

    • why should they carry back Ghosn, look at the complain about the CVT failure, which they used cheap parts, oh yes he try to blame JATCO, but why the same JATCO CVT build not failing in mitsubishi or suzuki CVT?
      Also he is the one who stop nissan hybrid cars from reaching mass production, back in year 2000 nissan have their own hybrid, they only did limited production, because he stop the program.

  • Carenthusiast

    I was looking forward to Karim’s design language on next gen Infiniti products but that’s not great news. They need to launch competitive vehicles if they really want to sell more

  • SteersUright

    Infiniti has been asleep for the last half a decade, no wonder he wants to leave.

  • Nick099

    Nakamura is a talented designer and has some sexy car designs under is belt.
    Good move Nissan.

  • izzey04

    back to BMW???

    • Andrewthecarguy

      Came here to say this.
      Won’t be the first time either.
      Went to Mercedes from BMW in the late 2000s then came back.
      The F01 7 Series is one of my favorite designs of his.

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