Andreas Thurner, Karma VP of Global Design

Karma Automotive Appoints Andreas Thurner VP of Design

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 services.

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.

Karma Revero GT
Karma Revero GT

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.”

Rolls-Royce Bespoke Ghost

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 Design.


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