Nissan Hired David Champion, Senior Director of Consumer Reports Auto Test Center image

Nissan announced it will hire David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports Auto Test Center, as the automaker’s new executive adviser on vehicle quality.

David Champion will be hired at the company’s vehicle testing center in Stanfield, Arizona, after he had worked as the automaker’s engineer from 1994 to 1997. Champion will report to Steve Monk, who is Nissan’s director of vehicle evaluation and testing.

“Nissan has positioned itself as a design leader among the Japanese automakers, but over time design alone becomes less groundbreaking. Others catch up. You have to focus on mundane issues like quality,” said Alan Baum, principal of auto-industry forecaster Baum & Associates in West Bloomfield, Michigan.

Champion has recommended Nissan’s Altima sedan as the Consumer Reports magazine’s top pick among midsize sedans. Nissan expects Champion to help the automaker develop products with increased complexity and focus on continuously improving the company’s customer satisfaction ratings. Champion will take over his new responsibilities beginning September 10th.

Consumer Reports, which is published by Consumers Union, is among the most important auto guides in the States. Automakers try their best to get positive evaluations from the magazine as its reviews are seen as the most objective due to its no-advertising policy.