KARMA AUTOMOTIVE FORMS MOBILITY EXPERIENCES DIVISION
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Irvine, Calif. (Jan. 7, 2019) – Southern California-based Karma Automotive announced the creation of a new Mobility Experiences Division to help build its long-term brand value and create opportunities for target consumers to enjoy premium hands-on experiences in the luxury electric Revero in settings that match their lifestyle.
The new Mobility Division will initially offer short-term rentals of a small fleet of Reveros stationed at luxury hotels in Southern California. Although aimed at the kind of luxury hotels frequented by Karma’s discerning customer base, the carsharing model can be expanded to provide other prospective buyers the kind of personal and special VVIP treatment the automaker is known for.
“Karma Mobility Experiences provides our discerning target customers the kind of personalized high-tech luxury experience that makes driving and owning a Revero truly special,” said CEO Dr. Lance Zhou. “Shared mobility and related platforms are an important element of our well-funded business plan that will also acquire and develop key technologies important to connectivity, artificial intelligence and electrification.”
Karma has partnered with San Francisco-based Ridecell to provide the technology platform that powers the luxury mobility services program. Customers can use a Karma branded Android or iOS app designed by Ridecell to arrange for their short-term rental and access their assigned Revero located at a convenient luxury hotel location.
“Ridecell is excited to be the chosen new mobility platform for the Karma Automotive Mobility Experience Division,” said Aarjav Trivedi, CEO of Ridecell. “As Karma Automotive moves into new mobility, Ridecell will provide the platform and market insights necessary to launch a differentiated mobility offering.”
The new division will be led by Sean Hazaray, Karma Mobility Program Manager, who explained the team plans to provide a series of products focused on various luxury mobility experiences. For example, beyond the initial luxury hotel activation, Karma’s Mobility Reveros could also be used to provide personalized instant test-drives outside of a dealership setting, rides and luxury shuttle services at key corporate marketing activations and for targeted influencers and other stakeholders.
“Our initial station-based fleets will help us build awareness, enhance our brand image and provide the operational experience we’ll need prior to expanding into new markets and business models,” Hazaray said. “These luxury mobility experiences also provide Karma the opportunities we need to evolve as an automaker and become more prominent among millennial-friendly culture.”
Meet Karma Automotive and Karma Revero
Karma Automotive designs, engineers, assembles and markets luxury electric vehicles, all from its Southern California base of operations. Founded in 2014 and employing nearly 1,000 people worldwide, Karma Automotive is committed to elevating and growing the luxury mobility experience for its customers and draws on global relationships and technology partners to achieve this. Named Green Car Journal’s 2018 Luxury Green Car of the Year, Karma Revero is a luxury electric vehicle powered by dual electric motors that embodies the company’s goals of offering leading automotive design, technology, customization and an outstanding customer experience.
Ridecell is on a mission to empower new mobility operators, including OEMs, car rental companies, auto clubs, cities, transit agencies, dealer groups, and private fleets to launch, expand, and maximize the utilization of their own ridesharing and carsharing services. Headquartered in San Francisco, the company provides a new mobility cloud platform for carsharing, ridesharing and autonomous ridehailing. End-to-end integration and automation accelerate time-to-market, enabling Ridecell customers to launch mobility services quickly, operate efficiently, and scale revenues as business grows. Through its acquisition of Auro, Ridecell also provides a comprehensive suite of L4 on-vehicle software, sensors and controls that enable autonomous vehicle operation.
Founded in 2009, Ridecell has already processed over 25 million rides and rentals, and has a team of more than 120 professionals in the US, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Ridecell’s Series B round is led by Activate Capital and brings together prominent investors including DENSO, Cox Automotive, Munich Re Venture’s ERGO Fund, Initialized Capital, LG Technology Ventures, BNP Paribas, Penske, Deutsche Bahn, Mitsui, Sony Innovation Fund, Ally Ventures and Khosla Ventures.
The company powers new mobility offerings for several automakers and GIG Carsharing service by AAA. In addition, Ridecell powers dynamic shuttle services for campuses such as Georgia Tech, UC Berkeley, UCSF, 3M, and transit agencies like SouthWest Transit.
Dave Barthmuss, Karma Corporate Communications
Christina Rotar, The Brand Amp