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- Heralds new era of vehicle design in Europe -- Investment underpins critical role of design in Nissan's global development plan -

This press release is issued Jan. 22, 2003 (local time) by Nissan Europe.

January 23, 2003



London, 22 January 2003 - Carlos Ghosn, President and CEO, Nissan Motor Company and Shiro Nakamura, Senior Vice President and Head of Design, Nissan Motor Company, today officially opened the company's new design studio in London that will lead the development of the next generation of Nissan cars in Europe and beyond.



Nissan Design Europe will be home to around 50 international designers, modellers and support staff and will play a strategically important role in Nissan's creative network which comprises six design studios worldwide.

  "Design is fundamental at Nissan. Most importantly it is a key driver behind NISSAN 180, our global growth plan. Today's event is the demonstration of the value we attribute to design as we continue to create and launch exciting and attractive cars specially designed with European customers in mind."  said Carlos Ghosn, President and CEO, Nissan Motor Company.

Shiro Nakamura, Senior Vice President and Head of Design, Nissan Motor Company said:  "Today's opening fully demonstrates our commitment to design and innovation in the motor industry. The location that we have chosen is ideal, as it will allow our design teams a unique space within which to explore, define and create their ideas. " 

The central London location in the rapidly developing area of the Paddington Basin was chosen because of its multi-cultural backdrop and the access it provides to important and influential sources in contemporary art, architecture, fashion and design movements.



The studio is housed in The Rotunda, a former British Rail maintenance depot built in the 1960s which had fallen into disrepair and been unused since the 1980s. The site was selected specifically for its spacious interior which allowed Nissan to transform the building into a tailor-made urban design space.

The Rotunda renovation programme has been led by architects Tate and Hindle. The interior has been designed based on the Japanese concept of  "wa" , meaning harmony, and reflects a fusion of European and Asian influences.

Nissan Design Europe at The Rotunda combines design resources previously located near Munich in Germany and Cranfield in the UK.  Nissan Design Europe has increased its staff by 25 percent, a further indication of the importance of the studio to Nissan's global design operations.

The design studio features a purpose-built CAD (computer aided design) suite, a presentation room, a showroom, a number of model making machines and a 'chill out' zone for relaxation and the sharing of ideas. Other features include a special lighting system that recreates different types of daylight to assist designers and artists in their work.

Last year, Nissan sold 466,613 vehicles in Europe, over 80 percent of which were manufactured locally. Nissan employs over 12,000 people across its European operations which include design, research and development, manufacturing, sales, marketing and logistics.