Infiniti design head Karim Habib has announced his departure from the company. After penning cars for the luxury brand for two years, the 49-year old designer will be succeeded by Taisuke Nakamura.
“Over the last 2 years, I have been blessed to work with a team of very talented, deeply passionate and truly generous designers, modelers, engineers, product planners, public relations masters, marketing specialist, and other team members. Together, and with the guidance of Alfonso Albaisa and his unwavering vision to create a Japanese Design identity for Nissan and Infiniti, we managed to re-think what Infiniti should mean in an electric and autonomous future,” said Habib.
Habib started his design career with BMW in 1998 and briefly joined Mercedes-Benz for two years before returning to BMW in 2010. The Canadian-Lebanese designer was named BMW Design Head for Automobiles in 2012. After 5 years, he joined Infiniti in March of 2017 up until his recent departure.
Nakamura, a 26-year Nissan/Infiniti veteran, is credited for his work with Nissan's 4E Design concepts: Enrich with the Q Inspiration, Engage with the Prototype 10, Enable with the QX Inspiration and Enchant with the Qs Inspiration.
"Taisuke Nakamura, previously reporting to Karim as Infiniti Program Design Director will step into a new global leadership role reporting to me as head of design for Infiniti, where he will continue to shape the brand's electrified journey," said Albaisa.
The 4E concepts are electric concepts signifying Infiniti's push for electric and hybrid cars. Nakamura will be a key player in bringing these design concepts into production models. The company announced that it will be coming out with electrified vehicles by 2021 early last year.
Nakamura joined Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. in 1993 after graduating from Kyoto City University of Arts with a B.A. in Product Design. He has worked on many Nissan and Infiniti vehicles and worked at Nissan Design Europe in London as a design manager. He will assume his new role by September 1, 2019.
On a not so designer note, Habib will also be the fourth prominent non-Japanese executive departure from Nissan following Daniele Schillaci, Jose Munoz, and Trevor Mann since the arrest of former chairman Carlos Ghosn.