Nissan Motor Co. has announced the relocation of its China design center, one of five global hubs charged with designing the company’s vehicles, to Shanghai, joining the nearly 30 automotive design studios located in the Chinese metropolis.
Nissan Design China, previously based in Beijing, will continue its focus on creating products for global customers including those in China, the world’s largest automotive market. The center will be an essential hub for using design to better connect people and communities with products and technologies that are making mobility safer, more sustainable, more exciting and more connected, Nissan says.
Nissan has operated a small design office in Shanghai since 2005. Nissan Design China opened in 2011 in Beijing and was expanded in 2013. The center now has about 50 creative staff at its new 25,000 sq.ft. home in Shanghai and plans to increase the number to 80 by 2020.
The new studio, housed on the 30th floor of the Sinar Mas Plaza building overlooking downtown Shanghai, is a digital design center meant to tap the creativity of the Chinese market and attract talent. Unlike the company’s headquarters or it’s San Diego and London-based design studios, there are no full-sized modeling facilities, which makes the Shanghai office similar to Creative Box in downtown Tokyo.
“Shanghai’s embrace of cultural diversity attracts creative talent from all over the world, making it a growing center of innovation,” said Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan’s senior vice president for global design. “Shanghai’s creativity will help Nissan build on our 16-year history in China to create an even better future of exciting designs for our customers.”
The China design team was responsible for the Friend-Me concept car in 2013 and its evolution to a production car, the Lannia sedan. It has also teamed up with the Society of Automotive Engineers to cultivate young design talent in China.
“Shanghai, our new home, is a nucleus of commerce, finance and industry,” said Yoshihisa Akiyama, president of Nissan (Shanghai) Automotive Design Co., Ltd. “The vibrancy and energy of this megacity will inspire us to create unique designs for the Nissan and Infiniti brands, and eventually Datsun.”
Besides the Shanghai studio, Nissan’s other design hubs include the Nissan Global Design Center and Creative Box in Japan, Nissan Design America in San Diego, Nissan Design Europe in London and Nissan Design America in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.