Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi are the three pillars of the Japanese-French motoring alliance set-up. The trio have now established the Alliance Design Committee for driving forward synergies in design.
Veteran Infiniti Design Director 52-year-old Seiji Watanabe San will be moving across to Nissan/Renault/Mitsubishi Alliance partner Mitsubishi’s design department, under Tsunehiro Kunimoto San, who acts as Mitsubishi’s corporate VP and general manager of the Design Division.
The appointment news was broken by Nissan’s Senior Vice President, Global Design, Alfonso Albaisa via Instagram. Kunimoto San said: “The depth of talent in the three companies is a rich asset of the Alliance and together with Laurens van den Acker and Alfonso Albaisa, the three of us identify together opportunities and plan movements between companies that are mutually beneficial.
“As we accelerate the evolution of our Mitsubishi portfolio I felt Seiji’s unique experience at both Nissan/Infiniti as well as his team building energy would be a great asset at Mitsubishi Design. Seiji will be joining Mitsubishi in January as an Executive Design Director reporting to me.”
Watanabe is a graduate from Tsukuba University School of Art and Design who has been with Nissan since 1987. He was appointed Product Chief Designer in 2010 and was responsible for designing the Juke and the Note CUVs. He also led the design of the NY Taxi and the Extrem and Resonance Crossover concepts when in the US. After returning to Japan he was appointed design director for Infiniti.