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Nissan Appoints New President for Its U.S. Auto Design Studio

October 03, 2000|John O'Dell

* Nissan North America Inc. has appointed Tom Semple president of Nissan Design International Inc., the company's U.S. design center in La Jolla. Semple replaces Jerry Hirshberg, who founded Nissan's American styling studio in 1979 and retired this year. Semple, who has been chief designer at the studio since joining the company in 1980, was Hirshberg's chief deputy and expected successor. His appointment had been delayed until he completed a temporary assignment as assistant to the vice president of design at Nissan Motor Co.'s corporate technical center in Japan.

Before joining Nissan, Semple spent 13 years at General Motors Corp., where he was assistant chief designer in both the Chevrolet and Oldsmobile divisions. Design projects he has overseen at Nissan include development of the mid-1986 "Hardbody" compact pickup, the 1987 Pathfinder sport-utility vehicle, the 1993 Infiniti J30 sedan and the new Nissan Maxima sedan and Xterra SUV.

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