Karma Automotive has begun European sales of the Revero plug-in hybrid luxury sedan after the company’s launch in the region was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Chinese-owned U.S. brand had booked a stand at the 2020 Geneva auto show, where it was also hoping to sign up more dealers, but the show was canceled on Feb. 28. “Coronavirus stopped us in our tracks,” Rogier Kroymans, Karma’s head of sales and network development in Europe, told Automotive News Europe.
The company currently has five dealers in Europe, one each in the Netherlands, Sweden, Portugal, Spain and France.
The first two units of the Revero in Europe just arrived at the Netherlands dealership, Kroymans said.
Travel bans have stopped further negotiations with dealers to expand the brand’s retail network.
“Geneva was going to be an important get-together with dealers, but when the coronavirus came, it became very difficult to continue these discussions,” Kroymans said. “If you wanted to become a dealer, you would want to touch the car, you would want to look into my eyes. Now you can’t.”
Karma was started by former Aston Martin designer Henrik Fisker but is now owned by Chinese automotive supplier Wanxiang Group, which also bought the car’s battery maker, A123 Systems.
The Revero is an updated version of the Fisker Karma, which was built by contract manufacturer Valmet in Finland from 2011 until 2012 when A123 filed for bankruptcy. The car now comes from Karma’s U.S. plant in Moreno Valley, California.
The standard Revero starts at 149,000 euros, including tax, in the Netherlands. Just 70 units of this version of the car will come to Europe, Kroymans said.
The car is close to the original Fisker Karma and is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine supplied by General Motors as well as a 21.4-kilowatt-hour battery pack.
A revamped version badged the Revero GT with upgraded styling, a new BMW-sourced 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine and 28-kWh battery pack will arrive next year. An all-electric GTE variant is due in the second half of 2021. No sales predictions were available for those models.
Kroymans believes the Revero will appeal to buyers looking for something more practical than an Aston Martin, but with more exclusivity than a Tesla Model S.
“This is car not just for people who say, ‘I like to drive electric for environmental reasons,’ but also those who love the car just because it looks beautiful’,” he added.
The car was originally designed by Henrik Fisker.