40 Years of California Dreamed Nissan

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40 Years of California Dreamed Nissan

The Nissan Hardbody truck, 1986 Pathfinder, 1999 Xterra, 350Z, 370Z, and GT-R all have one thing in common: Nissan’s first overseas design center founded in 1979 in San Diego.

Named Nissan Design America (NDA), the California-based center also led design for the 2020 TITAN and the all-new 2020 Sentra. NDA provides creative contributions to Nissan’s global design operation in the areas of the exterior, interior, color, materials, and user experience/user interface design.

During the past four decades, NDA contributed to the design of about 20 concept vehicles and 30 production models. In celebration of the anniversary, the automaker highlights some of NDA’s most memorable production vehicles:

  • 1986 Pulsar NX
  • 1986 Hardbody pickup
  • 1986 Pathfinder
  • 1999 Xterra
  • 2002 Altima
  • 2003 350Z
  • 2009 370Z
  • 2009 GT-R (NDA contributed to the early design phase)
  • 2014 Murano
  • 2019 Altima

“As we celebrate the 40 years of Nissan Design America, I see the continuation of diverse talent and extraordinary leadership that will shape exciting design, and groundbreaking user experience concepts, for Nissan and Infiniti in the years to come,” said Alfonso Albaisa, senior vice president, Global Design, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

NDA is part of Nissan Global Design, which is headquartered in Atsugi, Japan. Representing Nissan’s global customer-centric DNA, NDA was the first overseas studio with the mandate to reflect and celebrate the U.S. market in creative activities. NDA was followed by design locations in London, China, South Asia, Brazil, and India.

In June, Nissan appointed David Woodhouse to serve as NDA vice president, leading all Nissan and INFINITI design activities in North America. Woodhouse brings more than 25 years of design expertise from premium brands.

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