Alfonso Albaisa spoke to CDN at Geneva 2019 about portfolio renewal at Nissan

CDN caught up with Nissan’s Alfonso Albaisa early on day one of the motor show in Geneva, and he updated CDN on what is afoot at the Japanese carmaker. While the early morning news revealed that Carlos Ghosn had finally been granted bail in Japan, Albaisa seemed unaffected by the drama that is playing out, “I wake up, I see them [news reports] and then I go to work. I have never been busier in my life,” he said. “Almost two years ago Shiro [Nakamura] retired and I got a document which showed all of my programmes. I asked, ‘can I get him back?’. The portfolio renewal and EV expansion we are in is huge.”

Design in Nissan reports directly to Hiroto Saikawa (President and CEO) and has an open relationship with all the executives at Nissan, “I invite them to come and see me, see Design, even if I am not there, anytime.”

“Power is a weird thing, it can be imposed, but nothing is more powerful than inspiration – that changes peoples’ opinions. I want to change the view of the future organically.”

And what does the future look like – well there may be news from Datsun “in the very near future”, Albaisa teased. “We have made some brand decisions about what we will do.” The Rotunda, home to Nissan Design Europe in London’s Paddington is currently undergoing renovation, the outcome of which may be tied to the hints about how the three brands, Datsun, Nissan and Infiniti will work together in future “Those three brands, how they support each other and live in the world…We have such a history, such iconic cars in the family…these are the things we get to play with!”