In fact, VW and GM have both used Chinese talent to design cars, in the Passat and Buick LaCrosse, respectively. Nissan has already tested the waters with its Beijing studios, penning the Friend-Me Concept from this year's Shanghai Auto Show. Where GM and VW used their Shanghai-based studios as more consultancies than anything else, though, Nissan is aiming to have the Beijing studio design a global car.
According to Nissan's global design head, Shiro Nakamura, that's already happening. Nakamura told Reuters that Nissan is two years from launching a Chinese-designed global model that will see sales in both North America and Europe, in addition to its home market. While Nakamura wouldn't elaborate on what the new model's styling would entail, there's a focus on what the Chinese call daqi.
A difficult to describe and translate word, daqi is what Chinese customers look for in their cars. Whether daqi translates to global markets remains to be seen, though. We're cautiously optimistic, based on what we've seen over the years. The looks are more advanced, more dramatic and are rapidly leaving behind the photocopier designs which typified much of the country's early design efforts.
If you're still nervous about a Chinese-designed car, just know this - the design Nissan chose beat out competitors from London, San Diego, and Nissan's home studio outside of Tokyo. That has us looking forward to what comes out of the People's Republic.