From Procurement to Profit

Barny Koehler is Karma Automotive President-China

Karma Automotive announced the appointment of Bernhard “Barny” Koehler to the newly created position of President-China.

The company, which makes luxury hybrid cars, said Koehler’s appointment reflects the significance of the China market to Karma’s future and the pivotal role he has played in Karma’s obtaining a manufacturing license from the Chinese government.

He will have direct responsibility for building Karma’s China-based engineering, supply chain, manufacturing and administrative functions in Hangzhou, China.

Koehler will manage manage the company’s strategic relationship with BMW and its corporate Global Design organization headquartered in Irvine, CA.

He began his automotive career at BMW, where over the course of 21 years he progressed from 3-D Designer to Director of Operations. In 2001, he joined Ford Motor Company in London as their Director of New Business Development.

In 2005 he co-founded Fisker Coachbuild, and subsequently co-founded Fisker Automotive as Chief Operating Officer in 2007. He continued to manage Fisker during its bankruptcy in 2013 and led the organization until its  acquisition by Wanxiang Group in April 2014.

Karma recently named Liang Zhou, CEO and president of Beijing Foton-Daimler Automotive, as its new CEO.

Thomas Corcoran, the company’s outgoing CEO, said, “Barny’s history as co-founder of Fisker Automotive and as Managing Director Europe and Asia for Karma Automotive uniquely qualifies him for this role, the strategic importance of which cannot be overstated due to the huge potential of the Chinese EV market.”

Karma Automotive, based in Irvine, CA, is a U.S. manufacturer of luxury plug-in hybrid vehicles. It was formed in 2015 by Chinese autoparts company Wanxiang Group following its  purchase of the assets of Fiskar Automotive, which went bankrupt in 2014.

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