If you want to know who's been responsible for injecting some attitude into Toyota's designs in recent years, look to Akihiro Nagaya. As a design executive and as a freelance consultant, the rockstar designer known as Dezi has styled more concept and production cars for Toyota and its Lexus brand than we would dare to count. But now he's moving to Yamaha.

According to Automotive News, Dezi Nagaya moved on July 1 to the Yamaha Motor Company as its general manager of design – a role it had never filled before, choosing to outsource most of its design work. Nagaya's Facebook page indicates he's been at Yamaha since January. We don't know at this point whether Nagaya will be responsible for the design of all of Yamaha's motor vehicles – including its motorcycles, scooters, ATVs and marine products – or just its automotive operations, but the hire comes at a time when the company has been exploring further involvement in four-wheeled transportation.

In the past Yamaha has provided engines for vehicles like the Lexus LFA, Volvo XC90 and Ford Taurus SHO, and toyed with the idea of a supercar with the oddball OX99-11 concept in the early 1990s, but more recently embarked on a partnership with Gordon Murray Design to build the Motiv.e city car.

Because Yamaha and Toyota each own a small piece of each other and collaborate on a range of projects, Nagaya's move is being characterized as a "transfer" between partners instead of a poaching of one company's employee by another.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      Toyota's styling went from being bland to extreme. Look at the angry looking headlights and the massive mouths. It's as if they're out to eat children. I really hope his successor can find a middle ground.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Is that the only photo of the gentleman..............really Autoblog?
        • 1 Year Ago
        May not be the only, but it is probably among the more amusing.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Dear Autoblog, Please stop with the face pics/mug shots. This guy is not a criminal (like the last few mugshot articles you posted within a week), but holy hell does his face scare me. He looks like taxidermy'd corpse.
        • 1 Year Ago
        Yeah, I would agree it's in bad taste.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Must be the worst PR pic ever.
      Harry Chin
      • 1 Year Ago
      You could photoshop this guys face into any rock band in the 80s...
      • 1 Year Ago
      def looks like an art student
      D E S I G N
      • 1 Year Ago
      This explains everything.
      John P
      • 1 Year Ago
      It will be interesting to see how he can change a trend setting motorcycle/recreational vehicle co. into something resembling angry birds/appliances. ie: see the current Rav- 4 or Lexusses( TRD's and excusses) ~~~ if you don't understand
      • 1 Year Ago
      whoa an asian mick jagger
      Revis Goodworth
      • 1 Year Ago
      The fact that Toyoduh has any design department is in and of itself news - their products are putrid looking - I thought they just slapped things together and passed them off to their adoring and stupid buyers. Who knew that someone headed this disgusting design department. Hopefully they can hire a chimp and at least have some apparent talent showcased.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Revis Goodworth
        best comment i've read on here in awhile haha not sarcasm i liked it
      • 1 Year Ago
      Looking at the picture, I can see why the Toyota designs lacked any creativity.
        • 1 Year Ago
        I'd hate to be judged by you, almighty Lord Doug.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Oh lawd, maybe that's why Toyota car designs are atrocious!
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