Karma Looking at Luxury SUV Segment for Expansion - Assuming It Gets That Far

Mark Stevenson
by Mark Stevenson

Everyone needs an SUV. That’s the mantra in today’s automotive market, and it’s not solely applicable to consumers.

Jaguar, an automaker that’s traditionally sold sedans and grand touring coupes, has seen its sales skyrocket atop an F-Pace emblazoned missile. Also from England, the Bentley Bentayga sports a fascia only a mother could love. Yet, it seems Bentley has found a number of maternal mothers with deep, offshore bank accounts more than willing to adopt Crewe’s latest offspring, resulting in 56 percent of Bentley’s total U.S. sales coming from its new SUV in August, the Bentayga’s first month on sale.

But those are established, luxury automakers. Surely, a small, single-model automaker can buck the SUV trend if its plan is to offer a limited number of models.

Or maybe it’s more important that it offers an SUV to its deep-pocketed clientele.

During our recent trip to California to meet with the folks behind the Fisker Karma’s rebirth, now called Karma Revero, the executive team strongly suggested the Revero will not be the brand’s only car — if Wanxiang Group continues to pour money into its new automotive project.

What the next vehicle could be remains a mystery, and not one member of Karma’s executive team was willing to dehaze our view. If anything, they added fog by saying every option is on the table. Karma Automotive owns all of Fisker’s former concepts, so Karma’s Chinese owners have a deep well from which it can draw.

But Fisker never showed a concept for today’s hottest segment: SUVs.

What does that mean for Karma? An SUV is at least being considered.

“We are watching the market trends and clearly SUVs in the luxury segment are on the up,” explained Carl Jenkins, Sr Vice President, Vehicle Line Executive.

A Fisker SUV was rumored to come to fruition by 2015 powered by a BMW four-cylinder engine and plugin-hybrid-electric drivetrain, but it never materialized for painfully obvious reasons. If a concept exists, the company’s former and current owners continue to keep it under wraps.

Until Karma announces something definite, this is moderate speculation. However, with even flawed electric vehicles flying out of the former NUMMI plant as fast as Tesla can build them, Karma would be delusional not to bring one to market — and soon.

[Image: © 2016 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars]

Mark Stevenson
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  • Voyager Voyager on Sep 12, 2016

    With those looks, the ex-Fisker car makes sense as a 2+2 GT, preferably with a In-line 6 or V8. I actually don't see a second chance for this car as an EV. Logically those guys are looking at the electric SUV market. But it's getting pretty crowded there, with well-established brands.

  • DweezilSFV DweezilSFV on Sep 12, 2016

    Next vehicle ? Shouldn't Karma sell some product first ?

  • 1995 SC I'll hold out for the VW Tassos
  • Gsc65794753 Volvo parts were rediculously expensive. That's what I remember.
  • Creekrat85 The right to work on your own stuff shall not be abridged. It's common sense. It's unAmerican to be authoritarian. A corporate authoritarian? Isn't that fascism? If the government colludes with a corporate authoritarian to restrict owner's manuals or not to be allowed to show how to make simple repairs or you cannot buy the parts yourself? That's what is wrong. It's benign neglect of the government and it is at the heart of Boeing and their problems, so they let Elon do more of the same over at Tesla ?... The analogy is poor. None of us passengers are going for a wing walk to repair something on a 737 Max. Using John Deere and the farm equipment for the right to work on your own stuff is the better analogy .... Just say no to the corporate authoritarian fascists, wherever they roam...
  • Arthur Dailey Can the auto-shut off feature be disengaged? If not that would be a deal breaker for me. I greatly dislike that feature/function on any vehicle.
  • 3-On-The-Tree I agree those men shouldn’t be enshrined or celebrated. Even my Japanese mother agrees, those men who did those atrocities should’ve been punished. Her father was in the Japanese Imperial Navy, he didn’t do those things. We had guys in Iraq do criminal activities and murder and they were punished. I was in Iraq I didn’t do that. My dad was in Vietnam, you going to judge him from the My Lai massacre? Group punishment as a whole from the deeds of others is wrong.