Karma Automotive introducing new model – and its Jacksonville dealership – in March | Jax Daily Record – Jacksonville Daily Record

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Karma Automotive scheduled a March 7 grand opening for its Beach Boulevard luxury electric vehicle dealership at northeast Beach Boulevard and Interstate 295.

And an unveiling.

The opening is set for the week after Karma Automotive makes the world debut of the all-electric Gyesera BEV – full battery electric  – at 10 a.m. March 2 at The Amelia Concours d’Elegance on Amelia Island.

The Gyesera, and several Karma top executives and designers, will again be introduced at the dealership opening. The Gyesera is Karma’s first all-electric sedan and will be available in the fourth quarter of 2024.

Vladimir “Val” Ranguelov stands inside the Karma Automotive dealership he is developing at northeast Beach Boulevard and Interstate 295. The site at 11619 Beach Blvd. previously was Classic Home Furniture.

Photo by Karen Brune Mathis

“This is for us just the beginning,” Karma Automotive Dealer Principal Vladimir “Val” Ranguelov said Feb. 5 as he and his wife, Nadejda, and construction workers were cleaning, sweeping, trimming, taking deliveries and completing details.

“We’ll become a household name.”

Southern California-based Karma Automotive’s site, karmautomotive.com, shows the Karma Jacksonville dealership as coming soon.

Ranguelov, president of Bul Auto Sales FL, said the Karma Jacksonville project investment is $6 million.

Bul Auto Sales FL Inc., doing business as Karma Automotive, renovated a 17,000-square-foot former furniture store into a showroom, offices, customer lounge, seven-bay service center, employee break room and more.

The city issued a permit May 25, 2023, for Jacksonville-based Ladson Construction Co. to convert the structure at 11619 Beach Blvd. at a cost of $1.28 million.

New models

Karma Automotive has been unveiling its new models.

The Irvine, California-based company introduced the “ultra-luxury” Kaveya on Nov. 11, 2023, at the Concours at Wynn Las Vegas. The BEV super coupe is available in two versions projected to reach 0-60 mph in less than 3 seconds. The rear-wheel drive will be available in the fourth quarter of 2025 and the all-wheel drive will be available in the fourth quarter of 2026.

The Karma Kaveya, introduced in November 2023, has a top speed of 180 mph and a range of 250 miles. It will start around $225,000, according to Edmonds.com.

Karma

Teased during the Las Vegas event, the Revero is the return of Karma’s signature range-extended hybrid electric touring sedan that will be available in the third quarter of 2024.

Karma also teased the Gyesera, its first full BEV touring sedan that features rear-wheel drive and an 11.6-inch infotainment screen. It will be available in the fourth quarter of 2024.

“There is so much more coming to market from Karma. Today, Gyesera is just a preview, with full details available as we step into 2024,” said Karma President Marques McCammon at the Las Vegas event, according to the Karma website.

Rangeulov said he has pre-orders for the $300,000 Kaveya and the $120,000 to $150,000 Revero.

Ranguelov said Karma customers are those who consider a car an experience rather than a commodity, and who expect and receive concierge white-glove service.

A rendering of the Karma Automotive showroom.

When the building is completed soon, Ranguelov can install the furnishings, technology, equipment and the cars – with space for 25 in the showroom.

Ranguelov said the showroom initially will remain largely clear to accommodate the up to 300 people expected for the grand opening.

There also will be a large 360-degree photo booth that will help present and showcase new vehicles.

The service center can serve all exotic cars, Ranguelov said. He also will sell pre-owned exotics.

Why Jacksonville

Ranguelov said previously he intended to invest $5 million to buy and build the electric vehicle dealership at northeast Beach Boulevard and Interstate 295.

Leverage Holdings Jax LLC, led by Ranguelov, bought the property Dec. 17, 2021, for $2.75 million.

Vladimir “Val” Ranguelov is turning a former Classic Home Furniture store into a Karma Automotive dealership. It will also sell and service other exotic cars.

Photo by Karen Brune Mathis

He also bought some neighboring buildings and land that boosted the square footage available for use to 24,000 square feet.

The city issued a mobility fee calculation certificate for the project, determining $83,997 to mitigate the traffic impact. The project was shown as a 16,856-square-foot structure on about 1.4 acres.

Classic Home Furniture closed there. The property was developed in 1989.

Bul Auto Sales also owns the Karma Albany dealership in New York.

Ranguelov, president of Karma Albany and Bul Auto Sales and Service in  Albany, said in November 2021 he had a choice to open the Karma dealership in Tampa or Jacksonville.

“We found a lot more opportunity in Jacksonville, a nicer environment and overall economic growth. Jacksonville is so vast and is expanding constantly,” Ranguelov said.

The karmautomotive.com site shows 20 U.S. and 11 international locations.

The Karma Automotive dealership at 11619 Beach Blvd.

Photo by Karen Brune Mathis

There are four in Florida: Miami, Orlando, Naples and now Jacksonville as “coming soon.”

Ranguelov said he selected the site for a Jacksonville dealership because it was one of the few geographic options for where he wants to be.

The city granted property owner Harbor Point Properties LLC a zoning exception and an administrative deviation for Karma Automotive Distribution LLC to operate a service garage for repairs and retail sales of new or used autos by a franchised dealer at the site.

The Ranguelovs further invested in Jacksonville when they bought a home in the Baymeadows area in April 2022.

The Beach and I-295 dealership site is about 4 miles from the first all-electric sales and service center to open in Jacksonville – Tesla, at 16500 Abess Blvd., at northwest Kernan and Atlantic boulevards.

About Karma Automotive

Karma Automotive, founded in 2014, said it engineers, designs and manufactures its electric and range-extended EVs in Southern California. 

On Nov. 11, 2023, Karma Automotive unveiled the new ultra-luxury vehicle lineup at the Wynn Concours in Las Vegas. 

Karma President Marques McCammon

“Karma has experienced its share of highs and lows during the past 10 years. I’m intent on fulfilling Karma’s true potential,” said McCammon, who was appointed president in April 2023.

“I was tasked with remaking the company, and today is only the first step toward establishing Karma as a high-image marque – America’s ultra-luxury vehicle,” he said.

He said the company would reintroduce the Karma brand and a vehicle lineup and was investing in technologies.

“Undoubtedly, our plan is aggressive. After rolling out our initial new vehicles beginning in Q3 2024, we will debut new products and concepts every six months.”

Karma Vice President Global Design Michelle Christensen

Karma said its design team is led by Vice President Global Design Michelle Christensen, a 20-year industry veteran who previously directed the 2017 remodel of the award-winning Acura NSX supercar.

“At Acura, the brand heritage was already established,” she said.

“Thanks to high-tech collaboration tools, a newfound team alignment on all levels of the company, and Marques’s introduction of low volume production-techniques, it’s taken eight months to conceptualize three gorgeous low, long, fast representations of our new Karma identity, which are futuristic, yet beautifully timeless.”

The company maintains a 500,000-square-foot production facility in Moreno Valley and the vehicles are sold throughout its dealer network in North America, Europe, South America and the Middle East.

Karma says this year, its 10th anniversary, also introduces its new brand campaign.

A Feb. 1, 2024, news posting on karmaautomotive.com says the company “hits a big milestone this year, and it’s one many people probably didn’t see coming.”

“Inside those years are some bumpy beginnings,” the site said.

“From a startup to bust and then reborn again (twice), the company is eking out a name in the luxury car world with three new models hitting the roadways this year and into 2026,” the post says.

“After two rocky years before the pandemic struck in 2020, the automaker is ready to start adding jobs again at its headquarters in Orange County and manufacturing plant in Moreno Valley.”

The Karma Revero was launched in 2016 with prices starting at $130,000.

Karma

It said the company has about 300 workers, but McCammon said Karma will eventually need to hire another 300 to 500 employees to meet production demands. 

Karma said its origins in 2007 as Fisker Automotive” met an early demise after its battery supplier A123 Systems went bankrupt.”

It said Wanxiang, a Chinese automotive conglomerate, bought the assets of both businesses in 2014 for $400 million and renamed the company Karma.

Its first EV was the Karma Revero, but April 11, 2019, Karma issued a recall and stop-sale order on all Reveros, due to a flaw in the rollover sensors that could disable the car’s side-curtain airbags.

Karma laid off 200 employees at the Irvine headquarters in November 2019 and 60 more the following year.

The Karma GS-6 was introduced in 2021 with a starting price of $85,700.

Karma

“To put the company back on track, several executives were let go last year,” the posting said.

McCammon, formerly with Chrysler Corp. and then Daimler-Chrysler, was brought in to lead the company’s operations.

McCammon said North America is Karma’s biggest market, with 22 of its total 32 dealerships.

The company has sold about 1,000 vehicles to date, equating to an average of 100 cars a year.

“We’ve always existed as a niche vehicle maker, and we’re comfortable with that,” McCammon said. 

“In terms of luxury vehicles, we’re probably the closest to Ferrari. They do 15,000 units a year, but I don’t see us reaching that scale in the near future.”

According to the news posting, Joseph Yoon, a consumer insights analyst with Edmunds, said Karma caters to a niche market of buyers with deep pockets.

Karma’s buyers include Jay Leno, who owns a custom Karma Revero GS6 that was recently highlighted on his TV show, “Jay Leno’s Garage,” the posting said.

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