Infiniti has appointed American designer Alfonso Albaisa as its new global design director, a new position that will see him shape all future Infiniti production models and concepts.
Albaisa, who is 48 and of Cuban descent, will be leading a team of designers based at Infiniti’s central design center in Atsugi, Japan, and will report to Shiro Nakamura, who heads design for all Nissan brands.
The move is the latest step in Infiniti’s transformation into a major player in the luxury segment. Previously, the automaker introduced a new naming strategy, entered the world of Formula One together with Red Bull Racing, and established its own global headquarters in Hong Kong.
Albaisa has more than two decades of experience in automotive design. He graduated from Pratt Institute in New York in 1988 and also attended the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan.
He first joined Nissan in 1988 and from as early as 1997 has held a number of senior design positions within the Japanese automaker leading up to his appointment as design director for Nissan’s American operations in 2004. In 2007, he headed to Europe to join Nissan’s European design team where he started work on several projects for Infiniti.
Recent designs that have been influenced by Albaisa include 2010’s Ellure concept and the Extrem from 2012. He also worked on the stunning Infiniti Emerg-E concept as well as the latest 2014 Infiniti Q50.
The video above is an interview with Albaisa that was taken at last month’s 2013 Shanghai Auto Show. It gives us some insight into Infiniti’s future design strategy.