Fisker Automotive Changes Name, Logo To Retake Spot In Electric Car Market

Oct 01, 2015 04:18 PM EDT | John Nassivera

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Fisker Automotive plans on bringing its business back to its previously prominent state and challenge Tesla Motors in the electric car field with a new company name and logo.

The California-based automaker has changed its name to Karma Automotive, which comes from the company's $115,000 plug-in hybrid coupe, according to Bloomberg. Chinese billionaire Lu Guanqiu will provide financial support, bringing 300 new employees to the company in the process.

The move comes after Fisker filed for bankruptcy after failing to repay $139 million in U.S. government loans last year.

The company was co-founded in 2007 by Danish designer Henrik Fisker with the goal building environmentally friendly cars that could compete with Aston Martin, Maserati and other European brands, and it was able go toe-to-toe with Tesla before a series of issues led to it filing for bankruptcy, Automotive News reported.

Karma, owned by Chinese chassis supplier Wanxiang Group, said that it chose its new name because it's "relevant to both the old and new brands, while providing an aspirational message which embodies the company's purpose."

Additional steps that Karma is taking to reestablish itself include building a new company website and bringing and its next-generation of vehicles to a new factory in Moreno Valley, Calif. for production. The 555,670-square-foot facility "will pay as much as $26 an hour for positions in the factory's body shop as well as some mechanical and quality-assurance positions," the city of Moreno Valley said.

Karma also said on its new website that it will unveil the first model "of a new generation of Made-in-California automobiles" in 2016, according to Automotive News.

"With new ownership, a new management team, and a new production site, all here in California, it was time to communicate change," said James Taylor, chief marketing officer at Karma and former General Motors executive.

Karma's car will several big players to contend with when it joins the EV market, such as Tesla's new Model X sports utility vehicle, GM's new Chevrolet Bolt and BMW's upcoming hybrid version of its X5 SUV, Bloomberg reported.

Taylor said that Lu is committed to helping Karma grow in the long term. "He's in it for the long haul," Taylor said. "He also doesn't want to lose a fortune."

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