Fisker Becomes Karma Automotive, To Relaunch In 2016


Karma logo

Karma logo

Enlarge Photo

Henrik Fisker hasn't been involved with his namesake company since before it declared bankruptcy in 2013.

But Fisker Automotive has continued to bear his name since being purchased by Chinese automotive supplier Wanxiang.

Now that it is moving closer to restarting production of the Karma luxury sedan, though, the new owners apparently thought it was time for a change.

DON'T MISS: Fisker Karma Plant In Southern California: More Details Emerge

Fisker Automotive is now Karma Automotive, complete with a new website and logo.

Of course, the company's sole product is still called Karma as well.

Does that make it the "Karma Karma?"

This isn't the first attempt to rebrand the carmaker, which hasn't built a car in roughly three years.

Previous reports suggested Wanxiang would rename the company Elux.

A new name isn't the only change at Fisker, err... Karma Automotive.

ALSO SEE: Want A Fisker Karma? Lots Of Used Ones For Sale

The company recently signed a lease for a new assembly plant in Moreno Valley, California--not far from its headquarters in Costa Mesa.

Previous estimates from the carmaker and the city of Moreno Valley include the creation of 150 jobs initially.

Before its bankruptcy, all Karma sedans were assembled under contract by Valmet Automotive in Finland.

2012 Fisker Karma from the Rogers' Classic Car Museum collection

2012 Fisker Karma from the Rogers' Classic Car Museum collection

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The Karma is expected to relaunch in 2016 with at least a few updates to what is now a fairly old design by industry standards.

The rebooted car will have an electric-only range of 50 miles, and a combined range of 350 miles on electricity and gasoline, Karma chief marketing officer Jim Taylor told Bloomberg.

A 2012 Karma is rated at 33 miles of electric range and 240 miles of total range by the EPA, so that would be a notable improvement.

Quality issues were quite apparent in the first production run, and may need to be addressed as part of the updates.

2009 rendering of Fisker Karma space frame

2009 rendering of Fisker Karma space frame

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While it works to restart production of Karma the car, Karma the company will also reportedly continue work on other models.

Karma will continue development of the Atlantic, and start work on an all-electric model, CEO Tom Corcoran told Bloomberg.

The Atlantic is a smaller sedan with similar styling to the Karma. It also uses an extended-range electric powertrain.

It was first shown in prototype form in 2012, but its maker's bankruptcy derailed production plans.

 
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