Nissan design chief Shiro Nakamura retires

Shiro Nakamura, the veteran designer responsible for many of Nissan's eye-catching styles, is retiring March 31. He'll be replaced by Alfonso Albaisa, who leads design for Nissan's Infiniti brand, as senior vice president of global design. Karim Habib, the former head of BMW brand design, takes over Infiniti styling July 1.

Nakamura, 66, is one of the industry's most respected designers and is credited with Nissan's style renaissance in recent years. He's overseen the appearance of the Nissan 350Z and 370Z sports cars, the quirky Nissan Cube and Juke, and Infiniti's M, FX, and Q50, as well as many striking concepts for both brands. Before joining Nissan he worked for Isuzu for 25 years. Nakamura joined Nissan in 1999, has been senior vice president of design since 2001, and added the title of chief creative office in 2006.

Albaisa is credited with shepherding the design of the Nissan Rogue, Altima, and Maxima. Habib, a veteran BMW designer, oversaw the brand's styling from 2012 until early this year. The moves were announced Tuesday amid a flurry of senior management changes at Nissan.

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