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Who's Where: Alfonso Albaisa is Infiniti's new executive design director
by Rufus Thompson   
 
Alfonso Albaisa spent 25 years working for Nissan before moving to its luxury marque. Click for larger images
Albaisa was involved with the design and development of the 2012 Infiniti Emerg-e Concept
Matt Weaver designed the 2009 Qazana concept under Albaisa's tutelage
Nissan Ellure concept

Alfonso Albaisa has been appointed executive design director at Infiniti as part of the Infiniti brand's restructuring. Reporting to Shiro Nakamura, he is based at the company's Design Center in Atsugi, Japan.

Albaisa joins Nissan's luxury marque after a year as design director for Nissan's Global Passenger Vehicles and Electric Vehicles. His career at Nissan spans 25 years, and he has worked on vehicles in every category and on both interior and exterior projects.

Infiniti Q50
Alfonso Albaisa, Tom Sempel and Shiro Nakamura at Nissan Design America's studios
Albaisa led the design of the 2012 Xtrem concept car

Speaking to Car Design News about the move, he explains, "As Nakamura-san mapped out where he wanted Infiniti to go he felt my vision for design and desire to break through aligned to the goals he has for the brand.

"It's a move that will hopefully make Infiniti broader and more global, and he felt I could do that."

Shiro Nakamura, chief creative officer, added, "Alfonso is a great fit for Infiniti. He is a brand visionary who has the passion and drive to translate his progressive thinking into exciting designs with global appeal."

In his previous position, Albaisa was involved in the advanced stages of projects such as the Infiniti Q50 and the Emerg-e, while he has also helped develop the next-generation Nissan design language.

After studying fine art at the University of Florida,he transferred to Pratt Institute in New York, where he graduated with a B.A. degree in Industrial Design. He also studied at CCS for one year before returning to Pratt to complete his degree.

Albaisa first joined the Nissan Design team in San Diego, California, in 1988. From 1997, he held a number of senior Design positions within Nissan until he was promoted in 2004 to design director of Nissan Design America, where the current Maxima and outgoing Altima were developed under his watch. He then joined Nissan Design Europe as vice president in 2007, where he influenced the creation of the Juke and its concept precursor, the Qazana.

Upon his 2011 return to the US as Vice President, Nissan Design America, he led the design of the Nissan Ellure and Xtrem concept cars.

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