Evelozcity, an electric car startup based in Los Angeles and formed by ex-Faraday Future staff, announced last week the appointment of Karl-Thomas Neumann as the new head of mobility and European operations.
Neumann has almost three decades of experience in the auto industry and served as CEO at supplier giant Continental and the Volkswagen Group's Chinese operations in the past. His last stint was as CEO of Opel but he stepped down in the months prior to the brand's sale to France's PSA Group last August.
Neumann joins fellow German executives at Evelozcity Stefan Krause and Ulrich Kranz. Krause has previously served as CFO at Deutsche Bank and BMW while Kranz helped BMW start its i division. Both execs were hired to help turn around Faraday Future but called it quits last year after butting heads with the company's main backer Jia Yueting.
In addition to developing Evelozcity's mobility services, Neumann will oversee customer experience and branding and marketing for the startup. That will include coming up with a brand name for the eventual cars. The company founders are well aware that the Evelozcity name doesn't easily roll off the tongue.
“We need new transportation concepts and e-mobility to free cities of traffic and pollution,” Neumann said in a statement. “I have looked at many options and believe that the traditional carmakers will not be driving the change.”
Evelozcity was only founded last December but hopes to have its first model on sale by 2021 and two more shortly after. The company is taking a pragmatic and asset-lean approach in order to reach the goal, including outsourcing production, eliminating much of the bureaucracy that slows decision making at bigger firms, and focusing on affordable cars first. Core to its strategy, the company is developing a skateboard-style electric car platform capable of spawning at least three affordable cars: a personal vehicle, a last-mile delivery vehicle, and a ride-hailing vehicle.