Karim Habib, former Head of BMW Design has been named Head of Infiniti design division, effective July 1, 2017. The move comes shortly after his departure from BMW in January.
He will be based in the company's technical center in Atsugi, Japan and lead the global Infiniti design teams in Japan, Beijing, San Diego, and London, England. He will report to Alfonso Albaisa, newly appointed Senior Vice President of Global Design for Nissan Motor Corporation.
Alfonso Albaisa's promotion comes as Shiro Nakamura, Nissan's design guru, retires after 17-years of leading Nissan's design division. The new appointments are part of a larger shuffle of Nissan's design team.
Alfonso Albaisa added, "We are happy to have Karim join us and head our global INFINITI design teams. During his career as a designer and a leader of global teams he always created modern and inspiring designs. Karim is very skilled at capturing the heart and passion of a brand while at the same time giving each design its unique character. I look forward to Karim inspiring our teams to shape the next generation of Infiniti's."
Karim Habib first joined the BMW design team in 1998, a graduate of the McGill University in Montreal, initially majoring in Mechanical Engineering and later a design degree from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, USA. After finishing his studies, he started working for BMW’s Interior Design team, followed by spells in the Exterior Design and Advanced Design departments. He left for rivals Mercedes-Benz in 2009 and 2010, but returned to BMW in 2011.
His most notable and recent work includes the retrospective BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage, a car that “highlighted the potential importance of a brand’s past in future design”.