NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

Nissan shakes up core styling

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Nissan shakes up core styling

Nakamura: 'We need to express our own identity more'

Hans Greimel

Automotive News -- April 5, 2010 - 12:01 am ET

ATSUGI, Japan -- Nissan design chief Shiro Nakamura plans to overhaul styling of the company's sedans and compact cars to give them a more consistent look.

Nakamura says greater competition in those segments and new entries from rival companies are putting pressure on Nissan to stand out from the pack. His design team is working on the new design language, which he says will debut in the next couple of years.

"For core models that appeal to the mainstream, such as sedans and hatchbacks, there is a demand for stronger consistency," Nakamura said during a March 26 tour of Nissan's global design studio south of Tokyo. "We need to express our own identity more."

Nakamura said the Sentra, Altima and Maxima already have fairly well unified styling points, but he said there is still room for improvement. He declined to give details.

Outside the mass-market range, Nissan will still aim for provocative models like the Cube and new Juke crossover, he added. The Infiniti line is not part of the overhaul, Nakamura said.

He also plans a more futuristic design for the second-generation Leaf electric car. Styling for the first generation, which goes on sale later this year, was intentionally kept close to the image of a traditional gasoline-powered car so it wouldn't alienate customers.

"We weren't aiming for something totally different," Nakamura said. "We want it to be mainstream."

But he predicted greater liberties in designing the second- and third-generation cars. He cited the Pivo, Nissan's bubble-shaped concept car, as an example of the design direction.

"A completely different packaging will be enabled compared to an internal combustion engine car," Nakamura said. "We will try to achieve a different styling for the next-generation electric vehicle."

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20100405/OEM03/304059965/1427#ixzz0kElKEjsA

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Hilarious. I think the Leaf is butt ugly and totally alien.

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Nissan continues design language shake up

04/07/2010, 2:45 PMBY MARK KLEIS

Nissan replaced its U.S. design chief less than a month ago, and now the automaker is suggesting that it will seek a more common design language across much of its portfolio. The changes will be particularly noticeable across the sedans and compact cars, which currently share very little common design language.

Following a tour of Nissan’s global design studio in Tokyo, Automotive News says that Nissan’s chief of design, Shiro Nakamura, discussed plans for the automaker to overhaul the design language for its sedans and compact cars.

Nakamura believes that Nissan needs to make changes to its design language in order to remain competitive in the midsize sedan and compact segments due to ever increasingly competitive offerings. Nakamura said that Nissan’s design team is working on developing a new design language that will debut in the next couple of years.

“For core models that appeal to the mainstream, such as sedans and hatchbacks, there is a demand for stronger consistency,” Nakamura told Automotive News during a tour of Nissan’s global design studio. “We need to express our own identity more.”

Nakamura believes that the key mass market products, such as the compact Sentra, midsize Altima and slightly more upscale Maxima, already have some common design language, but they could benefit from continued changes. Nakamura sees the need for a unique design language for the high volume segments of compact and midsize cars, but says that the automaker will continue to utilize less traditional approaches for vehicles such as the Juke and Cube.

Nissan’s soon-to-be-launched Leaf electric vehicle already has major plans in the works, but Nissan opted for a more traditional design that would have commonalities with the previous gas-powered version of the car in order to help customers make the change. Nissan’s approach to gradually changing the design of their electric vehicles follows the same plan as GM’s Volt, which opted for familiar controls in the cabin, even though more advanced options were available. GM cited the need to transition from what people are comfortable with in steps, much like Nissan.

Nakamura did say that future generations of the Leaf will see a greater departure from traditional design as customers become used to the idea of alternative propulsion.

“A completely different packaging will be enabled compared to an internal combustion engine car,” Nakamura said. “We will try to achieve a different styling for the next-generation electric vehicle.”

link:

http://www.leftlanenews.com/nissan-continues-design-language-shake-up.html

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They need to shake things up ...

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