Nissan Europe has named Ponz Pandikuthira as its new product planning chief.
Pandikuthira moves to the post from his current role as light commercial vehicle director for Europe. He succeeds Ivan Espinosa, who has transferred to Japan to become program director for Nissan's midsize car platform.
In a statement, Nissan praised Pandikuthira for growing the company's light commercial vehicle business in Europe.
Pandikuthira joined Nissan Europe in 2012 as chief marketing manager for crossovers, compact cars and sports cars. He was appointed LCV business director in 2014. Pandikuthira will continue to oversee light commercial vehicle product planning, Nissan said.
Pandikuthira worked for Kia before joining Nissan and while he was a manager in Kia Europe's product management department, he was named an Automotive News Europe Rising Star in 2011.
A U.S. citizen who was born in India, Pandikuthira begin working as an engineer for Chrysler in 1996 and held executive roles for DaimlerChrysler.
Pandikuthira will report to Nissan Europe's sales and marketing chief, Guillaume Cartier, and to Japan-based Keno Kato, head of global product planning.
Robert Lujan, currently divisional general manager of global sales and performance at Nissan's headquarters in Japan, will replace Pandikuthira as director of the automaker's light commercial vehicle unit in Europe. Lujan joined Nissan in 2007 and held various leadership roles in the European organization before he was transferred to Japan.