Nissan’s luxury brand, Infiniti, is set to open an all-new design studio in London this October. The company disclosed the news in a press release issued yesterday, merely confirming what we’ve known since we interviewed executive design director Alfonso Albaisa following his appointment to the new role in April.
The photo (above and below) of Nissan Design Europe’s London-based facility is from the company’s press archives, and clearly, it hasn’t been updated in a while. What you don’t see behind the renovated British Rail maintenance depot Nissan Design Europe has called home since 2003 is a new building being erected. Construction work on the building is scheduled to be completed by the end of September, which will allow Nissan little time to properly outfit the facility for duty come October.
This hasn’t prevented Nissan Design Europe designers from having their say on new product however. The design team has had lots of input into the brand’s direction and strategy. Most of the staff have fond memories of when Albaisa headed up the facility.
The new confirms that Nissan is making a clear effort to further differentiate the Infiniti nameplate from its own Nissan-branded vehicles. Up to now, Infiniti vehicles have been designed in the same facilities by the same designers — the Infiniti Emerge-e concept from last year’s Geneva motor show was created by Nissan Design America exterior designer Randy Rodriguez (designer of the 370Z) and its interior was the work of Nissan Design Europe’s Bert Dehaes, for example.
“We have made the strategic decision to establish dedicated design studios for Infiniti in order to sharpen the Infiniti brand further,” says Chief Creative Officer, Shiro Nakamura. “The London Paddington studio is the first example, and other global studios in San Diego (United States) and Beijing (China) will follow suit.”
We’ll be going to the opening of the new design studio (being in London is convenient for such things), at which point we’ll report back on our findings.