Karma plans for good karma from Pininfarina

Italian designer Pininfarina to help Chinese-owned Karma on US-built cars

Published: March 13, 2019, 10:30 PM
Updated: March 25, 2019, 5:13 PM

Karma Pininfarina teaser

Electric luxury carmaker Karma has unveiled the first teaser image of its new product penned by Italian designer Pininfarina.

“Karma is united in spirit with Pininfarina through our shared commitment to stunning design, and we are excited about the reaction we anticipate the end result of our partnership will generate,” said Karma CEO Dr. Lance Zhou. The partnership was announced at the beginning of 2019, with the aim of speeding up Karma’s product development.

The Chinese-owned, California-based company has partnered with Pininfarina on design of this yet-unnamed concept car, as well as future products. The concept will make its debut at Auto Shanghai, the second week in April, along with a new generation Revero plug-in hybrid luxury sedan and the all-electric Karma Vision concept, which is due for production before the end of 2019.

“Karma is a luxury automaker, but we are not just a luxury automaker,” said Zhou. “Taken together, Karma’s Shanghai Big Three represents our transformation from an old-value car manufacturer to a company building long-term value in part by becoming an open platform luxury high-tech automotive incubator.”

Karma is perhaps regarded by many as a Tesla wannabee that doesn’t have the ambitions of a fearless CEO to drive their high-performance electric cars to market.

The two companies actually grew up together in Southern California, with Tesla starting up in 2003 and Henrik Fisker, who was helping Tesla to design what would turn out to be the Model S, cutting ties with Tesla in 2007 to market his own car, the Model S-que Fisker Karma.

When Fisker’s battery supplier, A123 Systems, went belly-up at the end of 2012, Fisker soon followed in 2014. Chinese investor Wanxiang Group swooped in to pick up assets from both companies. Fisker retained trademarks for the brand, and thus was born Karma Automotive in 2016. Its first, and so-far only, product is the Revero, a rebadged and revamped version of the Fisker Karma.