Designing for Dollars?

Andreas Thurner, formerly of BMW Group design, has been named vice president of Global Design and Architecture within Karma Design, a new business unit.

“Karma is creating a new business model—not just automotive and not just technology—but a combination that will maximize value with diversification,” said the company’s CEO Dr. Lance Zhou on the occasion of the announcement that Andreas Thurner, formerly of BMW Group design, is the company’s vice president of Global Design and Architecture within Karma Design, a new business unit.

KarmaThurner

Andreas Thurner

(Images: Karma Automotive)

Karma Design is to allow the company to offer styling and design services to other companies (which sounds somewhat like Designworks, which happens to be a BMW company). Zhou went on to say, “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.”

Presently, the company offers one car, the Revero, which is an “extended range electric vehicle,” which you may recall is the moniker given to the Chevy Volt, meaning that there is an internal combustion engine that works as a generator to charge the lithium-ion battery (although the vehicle is a plug-in for primary charging purposes).

One car isn’t exactly the sort of thing that can sustain a company, so presumably offering design services to other OEMs as well as to companies outside the industry might be a way of generating more cash flow.

Oddly, at the Shanghai Auto Show this year the company displayed a new vehicle, the Karma GT—designed by Pininfarina.

Karma2

Karma designed by Pininfarina