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
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 ?

  • Doug brockman hardly. Their goals remain to punish us by mandating unsafe unreliable unaffordable battery powered cars
  • Lorenzo It looks like the curves are out and the boxy look is back. There's an upright windscreen, a decided lack of view obstructing swoop in the rear side panels, and you can even see out of the back window. Is Lexus borrowing from the G-Class Mercedes, or the Range Rover?
  • Lorenzo Didn't those guys actually test drive cars? I was told that one drove like an old lady, another like a maniac, and the third like a nervous middle aged commuter who needs to get to work on time and can't afford big repair bills, and they got together to pass judgement within their individual expertise. No?
  • Lorenzo Aw, I don't care what they call the models, as long as they don't use those dots over the O's.
  • The Oracle GM just seems hapless lately