Karma Auto partners Pininfarina for new product development

by Lawrence Allan, Autocar UK 19 Jan 2019

The Karma Revero.

The Southern California-based Karma Automotive has partnered with the Mahindra Group-owned Pininfarina design house with the intention of developing new products together.

The American-based, Chinese-owned luxury car maker is collaborating with the Italian design house to “help accelerate future technology and product development”. Details of what that entails have yet to be announced, but the first results are due to be revealed in the second quarter of this year.

“Our business and product plan is driven in part by collaborating with like-minded and nimble partners such as Pininfarina whose design expertise will help us accelerate product development, differentiation, and personalised customization that allows every Karma to be truly special,"  said Karma Automotive CEO Lance Zhou in a statement. 

The collaborative effort will unite each partner’s commitment to beautiful luxury automotive design and is a major addition to Karma’s growing list of strategic business partners who will play an important role in Zhou’s ‘Value-Forward’ business plan to help accelerate future technology and product development.

As part of the Value-Forward business plan, Karma seeks to acquire and develop key technologies and partnerships important to connectivity, performance, artificial intelligence, shared mobility platforms and electrification. The goal is to grow Karma’s place in a unique luxury electric vehicle niche first in the U.S. before expanding to other international markets.

“The agreement with Karma," said CEO of Pininfarina, Silvio Pietro Angori, "represents another important step in the growth strategy of Pininfarina in the North American market, following the opening of our new design center in Los Angeles. We are happy to support Karma through our expertise into design and creation of luxury, customised vehicles, and into premium brand lifestyle. With Karma we share the same passion for beauty, exclusivity and innovation, always in the name of environmental sustainability. We can’t wait to show the world the first fruit of our joint effort”.

Automobili Pininfarina will unveil the Battista electric hypercar in production guise at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2019.

Pininfarina is in the process of building its own car brand, Automobili Pininfarina, whose 1900bhp, Rimac-based Battista electric hypercar is due to be revealed in full at the Geneva motor show in March. The company is also expected to launch an electric 'super-SUV' using technology adapted from American EV specialist Rivian.

Karma currently produces only the Revero, a re-engineered version of the Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid saloon, which went out of production in 2012 after Fisker’s battery supplier collapsed.

The announcement of the partnership is the first indication since that car was launched in 2016 that Karma is looking to develop a new product. 

Blackberry and Tata Elxsi recently showcased their new safe and secure digital cockpit solution at CES 2019 earlier this month in a Karma Revero.  

(With inputs from AutocarPro)

Also read: Automobili Pininfarina confirms new HQ in Munich, expands management team, EV tech supply deal with Rimac

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