Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

INFINITI HAS DESIGNS ON LUXURY MARKET; Nissan's Upmarket Division Is Opening a Studio in the Capital

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

INFINITI HAS DESIGNS ON LUXURY MARKET; Nissan's Upmarket Division Is Opening a Studio in the Capital

Article excerpt

Byline: David Williams MOTORING CONSUMER JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR

NEXT time you spot an Infiniti swishing past, take a closer look and swell with pride; it might have been designed in London. Infiniti -- the luxury division of Nissan -- has moved into smart new headquarters at Paddington Basin, next to those of its sister company, which has been there for more than a decade, designing global successes such as the Qashqai and Juke.

Now it is where future Infinitis will be styled too, for a worldwide audience, as the firm prepares to expand its model line-up by 60 per cent by the end of the decade.

It's a feather in the cap for the capital, putting us in a creative triangle with Beijing and San Diego, where the firm is also installing design studios for the marque, and a fourth design HQ in Infiniti's native Japan.

So, why London? Briton Simon Cox is in charge of design at the Paddington studio, which is five minutes' walk from the railway station, carved out of a former Sixties British Rail maintenance depot that fell into disuse, becoming a popular centre for underground raves in the Nineties before being redeveloped by Nissan.

He says that key reasons for singling out the capital were its "multiculturalism" and "energy", adding: "When we are here we eat, think and breathe Infiniti -- we want to get a feel here for our cars that is replicated around the world."

Infiniti Design London (IDL) is clearly a great place to work for the team of 20, including eight designers. More boutique hotel than car factory, it boasts 900 square metres of crisp, whitewashed walls, stylish furniture and a long, central "sculptural wall" that not only divides the different rooms but is designed to be reminiscent of the lines of an Infiniti car.

"We want a new 'DNA' for Infiniti, and everyone here has their own description of it," says Cox, adding that the aim is for the firm's cars is to be "different, not mainstream"... but not so different that they risk alienating public opinion.

Siting the design studio in London is also clearly a strategic move aimed at winning more sales for Infiniti. The brand sold fewer than 400 cars in the UK in 2013 and, although the marque's sales have more than doubled year-to-date for 2014, they are still tiny compared to other luxury names such as Jaguar, Mercedes, BMW and Audi. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.