IRVINE, Calif., June 6, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California-based Karma Automotive today appointed Andreas Thurner to the newly-created role of Vice President of Global Design and Architecture, leading Karma Design, a new business unit established to both drive the company's unique design identity and syndicate its styling services. Thurner reports directly to Karma CEO Dr. Lance Zhou, showing the importance of the company's growing luxury design capabilities to building long-term value for the brand.
"Andreas' considerable luxury design experience and proven leadership directing our SC1 Vision car, a bold signpost of our future direction, makes him the right person to lead Karma Design and play a critical role in laying the foundation for a sustainable and long-term future," says Zhou.
By offering its styling and design expertise to others, Zhou says Karma will become more diversified and open to new market opportunities beyond the traditional automotive model which focuses purely on design, manufacturing and retail.
"Karma is creating a new business model – not just automotive and not just technology – but a combination that will maximize value with diversification," he adds.
Given that the company's 2020 Revero GT is ready for dealer showrooms later this year, Karma Design's initial focus will be to advance the design of an all-new fully-electrified global platform in 2021. The new architecture is previewed by Karma's SC1 Vision concept, an expression of Karma's future technical direction, a future state that's still based on stunning design proportions. The company's new full-BEV program will spawn a variety of new models in rapid succession and is intended to provide a long-term sustainable foundation for the company.
"I am excited to lead an outstanding design team and work in close collaboration with an equally talented engineering team, as our entire organization faces the greatest opportunity Karma has ever had -- the design of an entirely new global electric luxury platform inspired by California, and its lifestyle," says Thurner.
"Karma's hallmark will always be breathtaking design, world-class craftsmanship and personalized customization that enables every car to the special unique," he adds. "However, Karma has an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to move our company forward in new and exciting directions that will deliver premium luxury mobility options to discerning customers across the U.S. and eventually around the world."
The new business unit is also tasked with offering design services for other automotive companies, luxury lifestyle design services beyond automotive, and in-house luxury styling and developing and guarding Karma's unique design language.
"Our open-platform philosophy attracts partners, technology and know-how, creates efficiency and enhance long-term brand value," Zhou says. "Karma's luxury electric vehicle niche and in-house design and styling talent creates opportunities for the company to diversify revenue streams and maximize opportunity."
Thurner arrived at Karma in 2016 as exterior design lead after leading Advanced Design for interior and exterior and Design Innovation Management for the BMW Group. He also served as concept exterior designer and led exterior design projects at Rolls-Royce Motorcars where among other styling accomplishments he designed the Rolls-Royce Ghost and Ghost Series II, and the Rolls-Royce Dawn, a vehicle that some have described as the "sexiest Rolls-Royce ever built."
Thurner was schooled in Germany at the University, Hochschule für Gestaltung', in Pforzheim, where he earned a diploma in Transportation Design.
Meet Karma Automotive and Karma Revero
Karma Automotive designs, engineers, assembles and markets luxury electric vehicles, all from its Southern California base of operations. Founded in 2014 and employing nearly 1,000 people worldwide, Karma Automotive is committed to elevating and growing the luxury mobility experience for its customers and draws on global relationships and technology partners to achieve this. The Karma Revero is a luxury electric vehicle powered by dual electric motors that embodies the company's goals of offering leading automotive design, technology, customization and an outstanding customer experience. Every Revero is created with great individual care and world-class craftsmanship at the Karma Innovation and Customization Center in Moreno Valley, Calif.
SOURCE Karma Automotive