Karma Automotive is an electric car manufacturer that is seeking to become a major name in the North American market for said products. It is new and at the same time not new because it can be considered a successor of sorts to an earlier electric car manufacturer that went bankrupt a while ago. In fact, some people might recognize its product the Karma Revero as a reintroduction of the Fisker Karma, meaning that it will be interesting to see whether it fares better the second time around or not. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Karma Automotive:
1. Is a Successor of Sorts to Fisker Automotive
In a sense, Karma Automotive can be considered a successor of sorts to Fisker Automotive. This is because Karma Automotive came into existence because of a buy-out of some of Fisker Automotive’s assets, which included its design, its power-train, and some of its facilities. With that said, the brand as well as the trademarks were retained by the founder Henrik Fisker, which is why there is a new Fisker Inc. as well.
2. Once a Competitor to Tesla Motors
It can seem rather unusual because of Tesla Motors’s present position in the electric car market, but there was a point in time when Fisker Automotive was a competitor for the business of wealthier environmentalists. It remains to be seen whether Karma Automotive can become a true competitor or not, particularly since Tesla Motors has managed to build up a fan base.
3. Its Predecessor Became Bankrupt Because a Supplier Became Bankrupt
Fisker Automotive was forced to file for bankruptcy when one of its suppliers called A123 Systems was forced to file for bankruptcy following product recalls. This was important because A123 Systems made batteries, meaning that Fisker Automotive couldn’t continue making cars without them. Now, A123 Systems is owned by the same people who own Karma Automotive.
4. Backed By Wanxiang Group
When Fisker Automotive went bankrupt, some of its assets were bought out by the Wanxiang Group, which when measured by revenue, can be considered the single biggest Chinese corporation that specializes in manufacturing automotive components. Said corporation was founded by a man named Lu Guanqiu, whose business started up in 1969 when he co-founded a factory making agricultural machines with a number of fellow farmers.
5. Backed By Deep Pockets
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Wanxiang Group has a lot of money at its disposal. However, what is more interesting is that the corporation is willing to put that money behind Karma Automotive, which more than anything else, is what could provide it with a fighting chance in its chosen market in the time to come.
6. Offered $5,000 Repair Credit to Karma Owners
For an example of the Wanxiang Group’s backing of Karma Automotive, its first step was offering a $5,000 credit to Karma owners, which was intended to help them bring their vehicles up to the latest specifications. Something that provided a much-needed shot of goodwill at a dire time for the electric car manufacturer.
7. Has Considerable Expertise and Experience at Its Head
There is an impressive concentration of relevant expertise and experience in the top positions of Karma Automotive. One excellent example is Bob Kruse, who some people might be familiar with because he was the chief engineer for the Chevrolet Volt. Now, Kruse is Karma Automotive’s Chief Technology Officer.
8. Has Received Close to a Billion in Funding from Chinese Backers
Supposedly, Karma Automotive has received close to a billion in funding from its Chinese backers, which has been spent on a combination of re-tooling, re-engineering, and otherwise getting its operations back into good order. Said information comes from James Taylor, the one-time President of Cadillac who is now the Chief Sales and Marketing Officer for Karma Automotive.
9. Has New Production Facilities in California
Currently, Karma Automotive has its new production facilities in a place called Moreno Valley, which can be found in the state of California. To be exact, Moreno Valley is considered to be a part of the San Bernardino-Riverside Metropolitan Area, which is home to the production facilities of a number of well-known companies.
10. Isn’t Too Concerned about Low Sales in Near Future
It is interesting to note that the Wanxiang Group isn’t too concerned about low futures of the Karma Revero for the near future. Instead, they are looking at the long run, which is a neat change from how Fisker Automotive was under huge stakeholder pressure to sell, sell, sell. In fact, it is amusing to note that part of the strategy of Karma Automotive will be building up a sense of exclusivity, thus making use of something that should’ve been a disadvantage under normal circumstances.