Nissan's ace chief designer is retiring
Shiro Nakamura, the man responsible for the GT-R, bows out at the end of March
The gentleman responsible for shaping almost every modern-day Nissan is on his way out. Shiro Nakamura, who joined Nissan at the turn of the century and was responsible for the way every production and concept car sporting a Nissan badge looked, will vacate the Senior Vice President and Chief Creative Officer position at the end of March.
Nakamura may not even have envisioned his stint at Nissan when he started out in life as a studio draftsman at Isuzu Motors. He spent a good 25 years looking at trucks before Carlos Ghosn, who had just taken charge of Nissan and was on a mission to turn things around, hired Nakamura in 1999. Nakamura assumed the role of Senior Vice President of Design in 2001. His first big project was the first-generation Murano, and as time flew, he went on to become Nissan's Chief Creative Officer in 2006. Nakamura was assigned the task of redefining the face of Nissan, and boy, did he deliver.
It was under Nakamura's watch that Nissan rolled out the 350Z, the 370Z, the wildly-successful Qashqai, the polarising Juke, the refreshingly simple Leaf and the glorious GT-R. There were a few mishits – cue the original Micra – but it's safe to say that with his unique yet opinion-dividing designs, Nakamura made sure nobody mistook a Nissan for anything else. He was also involved with designing the Infiniti M, G, FX and Q50, as well as shaping the future of Nissan design with the Kicks, Sport Sedan and Sway concepts. Oh, and if you drive a Datsun Redi-Go, you'd do well to know that Nakamura is the gentleman who designed your car.
Alfonso Albaisa, currently heading the design department at Infiniti, will take over from Nakamura when he leaves office for the final time. As someone who enjoys playing the cello and leads a jazz band, Nakamura will no doubt be looking forward to the gigs that await him.
Thank you for everything (the GT-R in particular), Nakamura-san. Hope you enjoy the music.