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Mahindra Automotive considering NC sites, but new plant likely 'is Michigan's to lose' - Triad Business Journal

Mahindra Automotive considering NC sites, but new plant likely 'is Michigan's to lose'  Triad Business Journal

Some of the mystery shrouding Mahindra Automotive's interest in a North Carolina megasite for a new manufacturing facility was clarified on Monday when a ...

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Karma Automotive hopes for a second chance in the auto industry -

Karma Automotive(NEW YORK) — Detroit may be the nation’s hub of car manufacturing and engineering, but 3,000 miles away in Southern California, a boutique automaker is looking to reclaim a place at the table.

It’s not trying to be the next General Motors, Ford or even Tesla. But Karma Automotive is hoping for a comeback that will jolt the industry nonetheless — tying its fate to a fleet of new electrified vehicles, including a lithe 535 horsepower plug-in hybrid sedan.

In 2014, Karma Automotive emerged from the remnants of Fisker Automotive, the eco-minded manufacturer of plug-in hybrid sports cars founded by veteran auto designer Henrik Fisker that experienced a meteoric rise and precipitous fall. Fisker was at the forefront of the electric revolution in 2007, years before mainstream automakers, with the exception of Toyota, took hybrids and pure electric vehicles seriously.

When Fisker unveiled the Fisker Karma concept in 2008, the world took notice. Celebrities lined up to get one. It was instantly declared one of the most beautiful cars — ever. Even the Department of Energy jumped on the bandwagon, loaning the company $529 million. Fisker Karma would become the new symbol of the U.S. automotive industry, a perfect example of the Obama administration’s efforts to boost fuel efficiency across the U.S. auto industry.

Then the dream suddenly imploded. Henrik Fisker walked away from the business. The company declared bankruptcy. Wanxiang, a privately-owned Chinese auto parts company, later swooped in and purchased the remaining assets at a fire-sale price of $149 million.

Fast forward five years. The company, still based in Irvine, California, now goes by Karma Automotive. This spring, it introduced the 2020 Revero GT, a sinuous plug-in hybrid sedan and a much improved version of its first Revero vehicle, dubbed 1.0 internally, in 2017. At the Shanghai auto show in April, two more Karmas were shown off: the SC1 Vision concept electric vehicle and a GT concept designed in partnership with Pininfarina, the legendary Italian design and engineering house.

This appears to be only the beginning for the burgeoning automaker. The GT will make its North American debut at Monterey Car Week in California starting Aug. 15.

“We come from Fisker but we are not Fisker anymore,” Dr. Lance Zhou, Karma Automotive’s CEO, told ABC News in a recent interview at the company’s headquarters. “We can utilize history to move our company forward.”

Every Karma vehicle will be produced at the company’s Innovation and Customization Center (KICC), a $100 million facility in Moreno Valley, California. Thirty percent of Karma’s future inventory will be range extenders (plug-in hybrids) versus 70 percent of pure electric vehicles. In addition to the Revero GT and two concepts, an SUV, convertible and compact SUV are in the works.

“We will have everything – no company can survive on one car,” Zhou said.

Expansion plans are moving rapidly: the company expects to launch in 19 countries by next year and build out its limited dealer network. The company has also been actively hiring, staffing up for the coming push both across North America and in Europe. A public offering may happen as soon as 2021.

Karma’s comeback hinges on the success of the Revero GT, which officially enters production in September with customer deliveries beginning in the fourth quarter. The goal is to sell 500 in the first year and the company has already received “hundreds” of deposits from interested buyers, according to Zhou, including some customers in China. How the public responds to the Revero GT will be turning a point for Karma, especially since 75% of the vehicle was completely overhauled from the 2017 version.

“The Revero 2.0 is all new and on my watch,” Bob Kruse, Karma’s chief technology officer, told ABC News before a test drive of the prototype. “We have retuned the suspension, improving the ride and handling at the same time.”

Kruse, an industry veteran who led GM’s strategy behind the Chevrolet Volt, joined Karma in 2017. He didn’t like what he saw on the 2017 Revero — “that car was built with a lot of parts we got out of the Fisker bankruptcy” — so he set out on engineering a better version. The 2020 Revero is 357 pounds lighter, quicker and more responsive. Kruse replaced the old GM engine, which he said “sounded a bit like a tractor,” with a new, more efficient BMW 1.5L turbo three-cylinder engine that was recalibrated and enhanced with Karma’s in-house technology.

“We added some tech to the exhaust system, changed the pedal map,” he noted. “The throttle is more aggressive and in sport mode you get more performance and a very robust sounding exhaust note.”

His team was also able to upgrade the lithium ion battery power from 20 to 28 kilowatt hours, boost the range in “stealth,” or electric mode, from 50 miles up to 80 (total range extends to 360 miles when the generator kicks in and the car is fully charged) and shave nearly a full second off the 0-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds.

The Revero GT also produces 536 horsepower and 550 lb.-ft of torque.

“We have an on-board generator that can make electricity to supplement the battery,” Kruse noted. “All of our torque and propulsion comes electrically. Once you drive an electric vehicle and get used to that instant torque, it’s very addicting. When you step on the accelerator your head will snap and your face will smile.”

The battery and motors were not the only changes; the Revero’s interior got an entire makeover, including the headliner, infotainment console, seats and steering wheel. The latest safety technologies were added and Kruse and his team developed a proprietary sound system that Kruse said trounces the competition.

Customers who decide to shell out $135,000 on the Revero GT will likely be impressed with the finished product. Everything about the new vehicle is better: the controls, comfort, styling, driving performance and electric range.
“The Revero failed to take off in 2017 but the Moreno Valley plant was also brand new with an untested workforce, limiting their ability to crank out cars,” according to Ed Kim, a longtime automotive industry expert and vice president of industry analysis at AutoPacific. “The Revero 1.0 was pretty much an exact carbon copy of the Fisker Karma and launched with uninspiring performance and range that was acceptable in 2011 when the original Fisker version launched, but not in 2017.”

“The new Revero GT appears to fix the first version’s performance and range,” Kim added.

Sunil Pandya, a physician and health tech entrepreneur in Florida, bought a Fisker Karma in 2012 after falling in love with it.

“I loved the name, it was amazing to look at and at the time had cutting-edge technology,” he told ABC News by phone. “I put 20,000 miles on it but there were engine issues, fit and finish problems. It was beautiful but a gamble.”

The vehicle’s constant problems, however, forced him to park it in the garage.

“It was a paperweight,” Pandya said.

His poor experience did not deter him from owning the Revero that emerged post-bankruptcy — he’s on his second vehicle and will be one of the first customers to have the Revero GT later this year. A self-described car addict, Pandya said his 23 other cars — including McLarens, Lamborghinis and Teslas — are not as special as his Revero.
“I feel more exclusive with the Karma,” he said. “It’s a hybrid exotic that looks sexy and is an eye catcher.”

For Andreas Thurner, a former Rolls-Royce designer and Karma’s vice president of global design, the company presented an opportunity for him to “be small” again. He convinced others to follow his lead and join the startup.
“They all left good, secure jobs from established OEMs [original equipment manufacturer] because they all wanted something new,” he told ABC News. “You have to take the risk sometimes.”

He said the Karma name “gives us some recognition as opposed to zero” but acknowledged the company has to work with “world class people” to compete in the cutthroat luxury space.

“We are in a transition phase,” he said. “We have to inspire people. Karma is very design focused. We build show cars for the street. It’s a huge opportunity to be at Karma.”

Zhou and other executives eagerly tout the company’s Southern California roots at every opportunity. Car colors are influenced by the state (Borrego Black, Pacifico Grey, Balboa Blue, Napa Red) and the wood in the Revero GT cabin comes from felled trees in King Gillette Ranch national park. Customers who choose the wood option will receive a personal certification authenticating the material’s Californian birthplace.

“We 100% believe in California,” Zhou noted. “People here will resonate with the car.”

Jeff Schuster, president of global vehicle forecasting at LMC Automotive, said some Americans may be leery of buying a car from a Chinese automaker.

“On top of the naming issue, being a Chinese company in the current political environment adds another layer of risk for generating sales,” he told ABC News. “They clearly are trying to overcome the Chinese ownership reality by boasting about being a California-based company.”

Zhou disputed that Wanxiang has any involvement in Karma’s business.

“We’re an American company,” he asserted. “There is no Chinese government influence.”

Karma may be forever linked to Henrik Fisker but Kim said there are “absolutely” second chances in the automotive industry.

“Fisker’s bankruptcy didn’t involve product issues that crippled other brands that stumbled in spectacular public fashion,” he said. “Hyundai launched strong when it debuted for the 1986 model year, but poor quality and reliability sent sales tumbling quickly and it was decades until Hyundai was re-established as a builder of excellent vehicles. Audi faltered in the 1980s with a 60 Minutes report on unintended acceleration, and it similarly took well over a decade for the brand to recover because the issue was related to safety.”

Thurner said Karma has its sights set on one goal: to produce the best and most beautiful cars on the market.

“The new Revero is a huge departure from where we came from,” he said. “We’re not backwards-looking. We’re not nostalgic. It’s a fantastic starting point but let’s look into the future.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Automotive Front Windshield Market 2019 By Regional Trend, Revenue & Growth Fore - News By ReportsGO

Automotive Front Windshield Market 2019 By Regional Trend, Revenue & Growth Forecast

Global Automotive Front Windshield Market report 2025 focuses on the major Types and Applications for the key players. The market forecast report also provides analysis of the market share, segmentation, revenue forecasts and geographic regions of the market. The research report is a professional and in-depth study on the current state of global Industry.

Europe will exhibit significant growth in the automotive front windshield market share. This can be attributed to the increasing investments in R&D by automobile OEMs to develop innovative technologies. For instance, in 2013, McLaren introduced its wiper-free windshield technology based on high-frequency sound waves for clearing any external obstructions, thereby clearing the view for drivers.

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Technological advancements in glass technologies along with the rising demand for smart glass technologies are providing a positive outlook for the automotive front windshield market expansion. The controlled flow of light from outside of the vehicle along with the integration of advanced electronic technologies with the incorporation of glazing are boosting the industry demand. The fusion of plastic polymers between the automotive glass enabling for superior UV resistance and heat rejection capabilities along with the integration of on-screen display and connectivity solutions are further proliferating the automotive front windshield market demand.

Automotive Front Windshield Market Classified in to Following Segment: -

Automotive Front Windshield Market By Glass, 2014-2025 (USD Million)

Laminated Glass Tempered Glass

Automotive Front Windshield Market By Vehicle, 2014-2025 (USD Million)

Passenger Vehicle Light Commercial Vehicle Heavy Commercial Vehicle

Automotive Front Windshield Market By Distribution Channel, 2014-2025 (USD Million)

OEM Aftermarket

Automotive Front Windshield Market size is slated to rise at heathy CAGR over the projected timeframe on account of increasing vehicle production across the globe. The proliferation of advanced glass technologies with scratch resistance and break proof features are expected to significantly improve the market demand. Improved UV protection along with the rising preference for laminated glass technologies are positively influencing the automotive front windshield market share.

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Industry participants are continuously focusing on recycling activities to improve margins and reduce glass wastage significantly. The participants are currently engaged in separating the plastic from between the glass, that contributes towards incurring higher costs and consumes significant time, thereby making the recycling process complicated. However, industry participants are continuously investing in automated technologies for introducing machineries for automatic separation process.

Few of the key players operating in the automotive front windshield market share include AGC Inc., Corning, Saint Gobiain, Fuyao Group, Splintex Distribution, Gaurdian, Nippon Glass, and PPG. Industry players are continuously investing in expanding their manufacturing facilities and production plants for improving their production output and expand their market share. For instance, in 2018, Corning announced the expansion of its existing production facility in China for supporting the development of its automotive glass business.

Methodology used in this report: -

our researchers and domain experts use a unique blend of primary and secondary research, with validation and iterations at every stage, in order to minimize deviation and present the most accurate analysis of the Automotive Front Windshield Market. The research process begins with extensive data mining, using authentic sources such as trade magazines, technical publications, independent studies along with paid avenues such as ICIS, Hoovers, etc.  Primary objectives of data mining include:

Automotive Front Windshield Market Definition and scope of research Automotive Front Windshield Market dynamics, growth drivers and industry pitfalls Automotive Front Windshield Market Regulatory and political guidelines for the industry Automotive Front Windshield Market Demographics and statistical data

All the above factors are identified and analyzed in detail, with their present and expected market impact, which is quantified and used to derive market growth expectation. Market forecast is built using statistical analysis with models built around time-variance, regression and correlation analytics.

Significant emphasis is put on primary research, which serves the dual role or not only validating our findings but also obtaining penetrating market insights, which help us gain more clarity regarding business environment and competitive leverage. Notable participants in our primary research process include:

Leadership figures such as CEOs, CSOs, VPs etc. in key companies Supply-chain participants, distributors and domain experts Key customers and B2B clients

Get this report Customized to your requirements @

About Global Market Insights

Global Market Insights, Inc., headquartered in Delaware, U.S., is a global market research and consulting service provider; offering syndicated and custom research reports along with growth consulting services. Our business intelligence and industry research reports offer clients with penetrative insights and actionable market data specially designed and presented to aid strategic decision making. These exhaustive reports are designed via a proprietary research methodology and are available for key industries such as chemicals, advanced materials, technology, renewable energy and biotechnology.

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Japanese automotive powerhouse Denso opens Seattle R&D office near Amazon HQ - GeekWire

(Bigstock Photo)

Denso is the latest global power to plant its flag in Seattle.

The Japanese automotive company, which makes components and technology for vehicles of all kinds, opened a research and development office at 2033 Sixth Ave. in Seattle, across the street from Amazon’s campus. The company said it will team up with the region’s tech companies and universities to develop cloud computing technology, autonomous driving capabilities and mobility software.


Check out GeekWire's list of Seattle-Area Engineering Centers established by out-of-town companies.

“Our Seattle Innovation Lab will play a key role in shaping Denso’s technology for current and new customers, regionally and around the globe,” Kenichiro Ito, CEO of Denso’s North American headquarters said in a statement. “As we continue to innovate in emerging fields, we are changing what is possible for the future of transportation and mobility, and setting the course for how we achieve it.”

So far, Denso has nine people working out of the 3,287-square-foot Seattle office. The company doesn’t have any open positions in Seattle listed on its jobs site.

Earlier this year, Denso teamed up with Toyota and SoftBank Vision Fund to invest $1 billion in Uber’s autonomous driving unit.

Denso said it has 211 facilities across 35 countries that employ more than 170,000 people. Its U.S. headquarters is located in Southfield Mich., near Detroit, and it has more than 23,000 employees across 31 facilities in the U.S. and Canada. In addition to Seattle, Denso has North American R&D hubs in San Francisco and Montreal.

Denso brought in $48.3 billion in revenue for the year ending March 31 and $2.8 billion in operating profits. The company said it spent roughly 9.3 percent of global sales on R&D, or roughly $4.5 billion.

The Puget Sound Business Journal first spotted the new Denso Seattle office, which opened in July.

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Do it right: Attract and keep the best people. - Automotive News

1. a strong culture:

“The No. 1 thing we hear when we try to reach outside our industry to hire people is always about our culture,” says Wright, owner of Dave Wright Nissan Subaru. Fleming Ford, vice president of people analytics at ESI Trends, a Florida consulting firm, says “You can say you’re a great place to work, but former employees may post their stories online. Cultural behaviors — tolerating inappropriate or inconsistent behavior — that have been symptomatic of the industry turnover problem are creating issues with hiring.” Evelyn Rojas, talent development manager at Fox Motors in the Chicago area, says recruiting “starts from the top. You have to have the right culture in a dealership to entice the right people to join your team.” For Fox, Rojas says, that means leaders must build a culture “with a lot of intention, about how you speak to each other, how employees work with customers, how they talk about other departments.”


2. up-to-date job structure:

Wright says dealerships need to be more creative than ever in recruiting talent. “When recruiting technicians, for example, we used to say, ‘come work for us — you’ll get more business, sell more cars, work all the hours you want.’ But people don’t care about those things today. So now we say, ‘Tell us how many hours you want; tell us the working conditions you need.” That means flexible scheduling and less commission-based pay. “The labor market has an aversion to highly variable pay plans,” Robinson of Hireology says. “It just doesn’t matter what we think about how this business should be run. The rest of the world is paying people for their time, not their production.” Wright’s dealership offers every new hire the choice of a commission-based plan or one with base pay plus bonuses for unit sales and CSI scores. He also has cut store hours to help staff with work-life balance, closing at 4 p.m. on Saturdays and staying open only two nights a week. To recruit and keep the people they want, Rojas says, Fox uses a strong mentorship program, especially focusing on promoting people from within, and monthly performance reviews.


3. effective leadership:

Ford says ESI’s work with dealerships underscores the importance of top leaders in attracting and keeping good workers. “General managers have to get better at the people part — explaining the vision, inspiring the team,” she says. “They’ve got to get over the idea that they’re selling cars; their job is to manage the people who sell cars.” Ford suggests that 90% of a GM’s time should be spent on having the right people in place, then developing that team — for instance, a daily huddle with managers to reinforce different core values.

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Free Review:

If you are looking to increase your insurance coverage on your vehicle, the insurance company may require you to obtain a certified auto appraisal.   If you have a custom car, truck or motorcycle, the insurance company won't pay you more than book value. Get a stated value appraisal to cover money spent customizing your vehicle.  Have a collector or exotic vehicle?  Book value does not justify the vehicle value  In case you are in an accident, have a certified auto appraisal done.  Contact us today for a Free Evaluation!

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If you were involved in an accident and the insurance company deemed your vehicle a total loss, we can help.  If you don't agree with the insurance company's offer, you have the right to hire an independent certified appraiser to determine the actual cash value of your vehicle.  Our certified appraiser will go to the vehicle location, conduct the inspection and complete a certified total loss appraisal on your vehicle.  Total loss claims do require a negotiation phase which we will take care of for you at no additional charge!

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Our Appraisers are repair shop and car club fanatics! We enjoy when local and national clubs invite us out to their local gatherings. We offer an appraisal discount that lasted all month. We love everything that has an engine and drives on the road. We do our best to help everyone in need of an appraisal!

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