, founded by former GM exec Bob Lutz and industrialist Gilbert Villarreal, has made headlines in the recent past because of its plans to sell Fisker Karma sedans stripped of their electric drivetrains and powered by Corvette V-8s. The modified Karmas were to feature the Destino name
and have a price tag of about $200k.
It turns out VL Automotive has recently been acquired by automotive startup WM GreenTech Automotive (WM GTA), which plans to launch a number of brands. The Destino will be sold by WM GTA’s performance brand, WM, while WM GTA will also have an electric car brand, GTA. The GTA brand’s first car is expected to be a version of the MyCar city car unveiled in 2008
WM GTA is headquartered in McLean, Virginia but has its engineering division in Detroit, Michigan and a production facility in Tunica, Mississippi. The company hopes to start building the Destino soon and is currently testing prototypes. One was recently spotted sporting the WM logo and new vents on its hood, presumably to keep its V-8 powerplant cool.
It’s not clear if Lutz is still involved in the project but WM GTA has confirmed that Villarreal will serve as COO for the combined WM and GTA brands. He will report to WM GTA CEO Charles Wang.
And just in case you weren’t confused yet, WM GTA also recently partnered with Saleen
to market the vehicle tuner’s products in China. Saleen’s products in China will be sold under the WM Saleen brand.
At this point you’re probably wondering what happened to current Fisker owner Wanxiang. The last we heard, Wanxiang hopes to relaunch the Karma with its electric drivetrain intact in mid-2015
. Wanxiang has also said in the past that it is happy to supply Karma rolling chassis to VL Automotive
. It’s not clear if that has changed now that VL Automotive has been merged with WM GTA.
Stay tuned for an update._______________________________________Follow Motor Authority on Facebook, Twitter, and Google +.