Karma Automotive has formed a new strategic collaboration with SBD Automotive to support the initial launch of the automaker’s new Karma Mobility division.

Karma Mobility’s mission is to build long-term brand value and create premium hands-on experiences for its discerning target luxury EV customers. SBD Automotive will provide Karma with a deep foundation of consumer insights and deployment expertise based on years of research evaluating emerging mobility services and will further support joint marketing initiatives with Karma to help build awareness and use of the new luxury mobility service.

“Shared mobility and related platforms are an important element of our well-funded business plan that will also acquire and develop key technologies important to connectivity, artificial intelligence and electrification,” Zhou said. “Our partnership with SBD Automotive will help speed-up the development of Karma Mobility and help us ensure a smooth and successful launch.”

Karma Mobility will initially offer short-term rentals of a small fleet of Revero luxury electric vehicles stationed at luxury hotels in Southern California. Although aimed at the kind of luxury hotels frequented by Karma’s discerning customer base, the carsharing model can be expanded to provide other prospective buyers the kind of personal and special VVIP treatment the automaker is known for.

“We are thrilled to provide strategic guidance and our expertise in mobility research to help ensure the success of the innovative Karma Mobility venture,” said David Bell, CEO of SBD Automotive. “In addition to deploying a standalone carsharing program, Karma Automotive’s vision breaks new ground by putting a luxury product directly in the hands of highly targeted and discerning hotel guests for both awareness and future purchase consideration. A win-win.”

Zhou said he believes that SBD’s strategic support adds a significant amount of credibility to Karma Mobility and encourages other luxury high-tech partners to explore similar collaboration. Karma has also partnered with San Francisco-based Ridecell to provide the technology platform that powers the luxury mobility services program.