Karma Automotive rumoured to be in deep trouble
With the Revero GTE, Karma Automotive plans to launch its first all-electric car next year and said it would sell the platform to third parties. A US media report is checking the claims a little closer – and claims many of the announcements are simply untrue.
Karma Automotive had recently announced its electrified platform called E-Flex and its first BEV model. A report by Jalopnik, based on statements by an insider in the company, now sheds light on the background to the announcements: According to the report, the technical specifications in the announcements are “invented” and the E-Flex platforms are mere “film props”, only one of which is actually drivable.
Possible background: Karma Automotive wanted to offer its Chinese investor, the Wanxiang Group, a “magic show” – as a last attempt to keep the financing going. Wanxiang had cut its investment from 400 million to 100 million US dollars at the end of last year and wanted to part with the company altogether.
However, it must be emphasized that the report is based on only one source – usually, there are at least two independent sources. With this transparency, the information should be treated with caution. For example, published pictures show unclean welds on one of the show cars, which is supposed to prove their poor condition as a “film prop”. Last-minute work not carried out to series standard is not unusual for prototypes in and of themselves. In this case, they fit very well into the picture drawn regarding Karma’s development status.
Thus, the previously presented van, which should be able to drive autonomously according to level 4, is also supposed to be fake. The source speaks of a body of a Dodge Promaster, which was simply welded onto the frame of a Revero – without autonomous driving functions or the hardware from Nvidia promised by the manufacturer.
Also, there is information indicating that Karma Automotive will lay off at least 100 employees between 1 and 15 May. Ultimately, the workforce is to be reduced to just 27 employees, all of whom are on management level.