Nissan North America has hired former Lincoln designer David Woodhouse as vice president, Nissan Design America (NDA).

He'll head all Nissan and Infiniti design activities in North America and serve on the company's global design management committee. He'll be based in San Diego rather than company HQ in Nashville.

"As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Nissan Design America, I am pleased that Woodhouse will be leading and inspiring our talented team in San Diego," said Alfonso Albaisa, global design chief of Nissan Motor.

"David's talent, leadership and vision will ensure that NDA shapes an exciting future for the Infiniti and Nissan brands as well as groundbreaking user experience concepts for our customers for years to come."

Woodhouse brings more than 25 years of global automotive design expertise to his new role. Most recently, he was Lincoln design director at Ford but his career also includes time with other global premium brands including Mini, Cadillac, Range Rover and BMW.

Founded in 1979, Nissan Design America was the automaker's first design studio outside Japan. Today, it is a full-production studio capable of handling all phases of automotive design development, from exploratory to production. It designs vehicles for global markets but emphasises North America.

It works in close collaboration with its global design counterparts as well as with technical centres in Japan and North America.