PEBBLE BEACH, CA – Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.’s Infiniti luxury division does not plan to follow rival Honda Motor Co. Ltd.’s example of establishing a separate design studio for its Acura luxury brand in the U.S.
All Infiniti models will continue to be designed in Japan, although the auto maker has studios in the U.S., Shiro Nakamura, senior vice president and design director for Nissan, tells Ward’s at a Nissan media event here.
“We don’t want to be the same (as Honda)” he says. “We do what we think is right.”
Nevertheless, Nakamura says he appreciates the diverse workforce a U.S. design studio will bring to Acura’s ranks. “Japanese companies are more confident than (they were) 20 years ago,” he says.
Meanwhile, Nakamura reveals the new Infiniti G35 coupe, due next spring in the U.S., closely will resemble the Infiniti coupe concept unveiled at the 2006 Detroit auto show last January. Except for one possible, small change.
“People are talking about the point,” he says of the apex of the concept’s front fascia. “I think pointed is not our intention. (Infiniti’s design language is) more rounded.”
Nakamura, who has been lauded by the industry for Nissan’s edgy styling, says he gets design inspiration from many different things.
He pulls out an iPod Nano MP3 player and notes its similarity to Nissan’s Cube model. “It really looks like (the) Cube,” he says. “This is very geometric but at the same time very emotional. I really like this design.”