Southern California-based Karma Automotive has
announced the appointment of Andreas Thurner to the newly-created role of Vice
President of Global Design and Architecture. In his new role, the former
Rolls-Royce designer will lead Karma Design, a new business unit established to
both drive the company’s unique design identity and syndicate its styling
Thurner, who arrived at Karma in 2016 as head of exterior design after leading Advanced Design and Design Innovation Management for the BMW Group, effectively replaces Alexander Klatt as Karma’s new head of Design.
He also served as concept exterior designer and led exterior design projects at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars where, among other styling accomplishments he worked on the Rolls-Royce Ghost, Ghost Series II and the Rolls-Royce Dawn.
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
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
“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 is a graduate of Hochschule für
Gestaltung in Pforzheim, Germany, where he earned his degree in Transportation
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