Karma Automotive, the Southern California-based manufacturer of ultra-luxury electric vehicles, has named long-time automotive executive Marques McCammon as President. McCammon most recently served as Global Managing Director for Ricardo, Inc., an international environmental, engineering and strategic transportation company.
At Karma, headquartered in Irvine, Calif., with an assembly and customization facility in Moreno Valley and a dealership network on four continents, McCammon assumes the role of executive lead for all corporate operations.
“We recruited Marques to execute and fulfil the “Cleaner Air for Everyone” corporate vision of our company’s late founder and Automotive Hall of Fame member, Guanqui Lu, who wanted to build Karma as a clean energy company that would inspire positive change in the world,” said Weiding Lu, Chairman, Wanxiang Group. “With Marques’s extensive background in the auto industry and transportation – from technology concept to product execution – as well as work in green energy and sustainability, we are confident he will infuse vision into the company, expand our employee base and grow the Karma brand throughout the U.S. and the world.”
Wanxiang Group has been investing in U.S. auto and new energy sector for more than 20 years. The organization provides parts for half of the vehicles produced in the U.S., employs more than 13,500 people and has operations in 26 states, including its subsidiary Wanxiang America, A123 Systems and Karma Automotive.
McCammon has spent three decades in the transportation industry, specializing in product development and advanced automotive software, manufacturing, marketing, sales and strategic leadership. Educated at North Carolina A&T State University and the University of Michigan–Dearborn, he initially worked in powertrain development with the then-Chrysler Corporation and later helped kick-start the SRT performance marque after the Daimler-Chrysler merger.
He subsequently held executive roles at companies including ASC, Saleen and electric car start-up Aptera, before joining Intel subsidiary Wind River, where, as general manager and vice president, he directed global software systems product development, strategy, marketing and engineering services for connected and automated vehicles. He then spent the last 3 1/2 years at Ricardo focusing on sustainable mobility solutions, unifying the global automotive business and helping to return the 100-year-old company to profitability.
“I told my first recruiter at Chrysler that my career goal was to run a start-up auto company,” says McCammon. “He actually laughed but said he admired my ambition. With Karma, that dream has finally come true. The business is at a crucial turning point, but the foundation is solid and there is an amazing amount of potential waiting to be unleashed on the market. This is our time to make history, and it’s up to my team and me to share that potential with the world.”