The automotive industry is ripe for disruption and Karma Automotive is at the forefront of the movement. It is capitalizing on a combination of innovative technology, sustainability practices, and connected manufacturing to deliver a game-changing customer experience. Karma recently launched its first luxury plug-in hybrid car along with a commitment to challenge conventional thinking about purchasing and owning a luxury vehicle.
To capture “wallet share” via vehicle sales in an economy rapidly moving towards a shared mobility model, car manufacturers need to differentiate their products and services. The first step is to move away from the traditional car sales and maintenance model to an integrated mobility service. Karma has built its business with that in mind and is now fully prepared to deliver on its promise of 100% customer satisfaction.
Mikael Elley, vice president and CIO at Karma Automotive, is the mastermind behind the technology landscape. In building a young startup, his team wanted to implement best-in-class enterprise technology, but also wanted the flexibility to be agile enough to turn on a dime. When Karma started the journey, the team wasn’t sure if they were going to sell direct, leverage a dealer model, or both.
At its launch in May 2017, Karma had implemented both sales models in addition to planning to establish its own dealership. By leveraging omnichannel commerce, digital and in-person experiences have been designed to be as seamless and luxurious as Karma’s cars.
One reason for this is the fact that the entire company ecosystem – from customers to dealers to corporate employees – is operating on a single, integrated platform. From order to delivery and beyond, there is a single source of truth for everyone touching the customer experience, which is updated in real time and readily available from either a web or mobile app.
Karma’s connected customer experience also extends to the manufacturing shop floor. Here, authorized company representatives can access the specific status of a vehicle or review analytics and trends related to sales or quality assurance.
With quality assurance top of mind, the tools in Karma’s factory are also connected to the core platform. The torque tools are integrated with Internet of Things technology to communicate to the operator exactly which tool to utilize for a given job.
Service in the cloud
According to Jim Taylor, chief revenue officer for Karma Automotive, the key to disrupting the traditional automotive industry model starts and ends with the technology. With cloud-based technology and a single platform at the core, Karma can monitor and even update its vehicles long after they have left the factory floor.
Taylor explained, “From a service standpoint and a customer standpoint, we’re able to update the vehicles and send the software back and forth through the cloud and over the air. And so, it’s a broad spectrum – all the way from base manufacturing into the technology of the vehicle.”
What next for Karma Automotive?
Karma’s first vehicle, the Revero, launched this spring, and the expectations for its success are high all around. The team is eager to get its hands on more customer data and leverage technology to augment strategic business decision making.
When asked about his roadmap, CIO Elley said, “Machine learning is going to be big for us and we want to take advantage of some of the technology available to get even deeper insights into how we could better serve our customers, who our customers are, and what drives the customer satisfaction and customer value as well.”
As is describes its vehicles, Karma Automotive shall remain “unapologetically conspicuous in their beauty and
uncommonly light in their footprint.”
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