Karma Automotive Sues The New DeLorean Company And Its Executives Over Alleged Trade Secret Violations

Morning Dump Karma Sues Delorean

Karma Automotive sues the new DeLorean car company over trade secrets, the Infiniti Q60 will soon die, transit authorities across America are getting grants for greener buses. All this and more in today’s issue of The Morning Dump.

Welcome to The Morning Dump, bite-sized stories corralled into a single article for your morning perusal. If your morning coffee’s working a little too well, pull up a throne and have a gander at the best of the rest of yesterday.

Karma Automotive Sues DeLorean Over Alleged Trade Secret Violations

Karma Automotive, makers of the pictured GS6, are suing DeLorean
Photo credit: Karma Automotive

Just when you thought the saga of the new EVs with DeLorean badges couldn’t get weirder, the project gets embroiled in new drama. Automotive News reports that Karma Automotive is suing “DeLorean Automotive Reimagined” over alleged intellectual property theft, a fairly serious allegation.

The lawsuit names heaps of people in DeLorean Motors’ C-suite as defendants. The full list of defendants goes as follows: DeLorean Motors CEO Joost de Vries, COO Alan Yuan, Vice President Neilo Harris, and Chief Marketing Officer Troy Beetz, along with Reimagined Automotive and DeLorean Motors Reimagined.

The suit alleges that the high-ranked executives started Reimagined Automotive while “some or all” of the defendants were still employed at Karma. According to the suit, Karma was in the process of negotiating a partnership with DeLorean Motor Co. to electrify the reinvented DeLorean vehicle when the defendants formed their new company and took confidential Karma materials. The suit alleges the defendants “actively concealed information from Karma to keep Karma from pursuing the project or from finding out what individual defendants were doing.”

The suit then claims that the defendants soon left Karma to form Reimagined Automotive, inked a deal with DMC Texas using Karma’s “trade secrets or other confidential information,” and breached fiduciary duties. If these allegations prove true, the defendants could be in violation of the Defend Trade Secrets Act and the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act. These are some serious allegations, and one defendant fired back with a statement that alleges some serious issues with Karma.

In a statement obtained by Automotive News, de Vries said: “The potential Karma/DMC project died due to Karma’s inability to fund or produce deliverables necessary to even move forward talks with DMC. DeLorean Motors Reimagined is a completely new entity with a completely new fully electric vehicle unrelated to the low volume replica project. We anticipate the Court seeing through this baseless litigation in short order.”

With parties trading barbs this early, I have a feeling that this saga could get messy. Karma Automotive has previously filed suit against Lordstown Motors alleging trade secret violations, so it’s not like the suit against DeLorean Motors Reimagined came out of nowhere. We’ve reached out to DeLorean for official comment and will update this post as soon as we hear back. Whether or not this suit has merit, we’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, would anyone care for some popcorn?

The Infiniti Q60 Will Reportedly Die Next Year

2022 Infiniti Q60 08
Photo credit: Infiniti

It’s no secret that consumers prefer crossovers to coupes and it looks like Infiniti is taking this market shift seriously. Car And Driver reports that the Infiniti Q60 coupe will exit production in 2023 as the marque refocuses on vehicles with more mass appeal.

The company expects retailers will have units for sale well into 2023. The move is motivated by the increased shift toward purchasing larger crossovers and SUVs by so many American drivers. “We are focusing on the most popular luxury automotive segments such as crossovers and SUVs, as well as the upcoming EV we recently announced that will be built here in the U.S.” according to an Infiniti spokesperson.

With the new Nissan Z sharing an engine and platform with the Q60 and taking over the role of halo car for the Nissan and Infiniti family, I can’t say I’m surprised that the swoopy coupe’s days are numbered. It’s particularly hilarious to see that Infiniti expects supply to last well into 2023. Either they’re ramping up production to get units on lots, or Q60 coupes trickle out of showrooms slower than molasses flows down an iceberg. Pour one out for a great-looking car with an awesome engine, hampered by an outdated gearbox and an appalling optional steer-by-wire system.

U.S. Transit Authorities Get Big Grants For Greener Buses

Byd Electric Bus
Screenshot: BYD

Let’s give it up for buses, the humble workhorses of public transportation. While they aren’t as ideal as rail transit, buses can be run along existing infrastructure and enable some rather wonderful things. I’m not just talking about affordable transportation, I’m talking about backup for when your unreliable car breaks, cheap pub crawl transportation, and increased commuter density. In an effort to clean up America’s bus fleet, Reuters reports that the U.S. Transportation Department is offering $1.66 billion in grants so transit authorities can buy cleaner, greener buses.

The grants will fund 1,100 zero-emission buses, which will nearly double the existing 1,300 zero-emission transit buses, the White House said.

The funding for 150 bus fleets from the $1 trillion 2021 infrastructure law will help cities and states retire older polluting buses.

The funding will also buy 700 buses, which include hybrid-electric, natural gas and diesel models. “These grants are going to be used in every corner of this country,” White House infrastructure coordinator Mitch Landrieu told reporters.

I’m going to give this bit of news a big “hell yeah.” Newer buses are always nice, as old units can feel a bit janky after years of heavy use and unruly passengers. Plus, fewer urban emissions means cleaner air for everyone, definitely not a bad thing by any means. Electric buses are also massively quieter than diesel buses which is really nice for riders and pedestrians. Cheers to greener buses that help us run to the auto parts store on the oft chance that none of our cars are running. Hey, it’s cheaper than ordering an Uber.

Porsche Production Held Up By Headlights

Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo
Photo credit: Porsche

Headlights are supposed to light the way, but a supply chain shortage is leaving Porsche in the dark. Automotive News Europe reports that Porsche production has been stalled by component availability troubles including high-end matrix headlights on the Macan and Panamera.

“Currently we have retrofit vehicles again,” Porsche production boss Albrecht Reimold told Automotive News Europe sister publication Automobilwoche.

Reimold said that in Leipzig, Germany, where the Panamera and Macan models are produced, several hundred vehicles on the factory floor cannot be completed because of the supply bottleneck with the headlights.

Reimold said the situation was still tense in the supply chain: “At the moment it is really very tense because we have to be constantly vigilant,” he said. “It is difficult to forecast when the situation will fundamentally improve.”

Matrix headlights are great, so it really sucks to see availability issues at Porsche. For some, this issue is easy to brush off as a concern of the rich, but there are real people from supply chain factory workers to retail-side employees who may be affected by these vehicle completion issues. Let’s hope that for the sake of everyone, the supply side of the industry picks up soon.

The Flush

Whelp, time to drop the lid on today’s edition of The Morning Dump. I’ve recently realized that today marks the longest I’ve ever owned a car, which begs a question: what’s the longest you’ve ever owned a car, and what was the car? Maybe you’re in it for the long haul, maybe you’re like me and get bored every few years. In any case, I’d love to hear what your long-haul ride is and why you’ve kept it around for so long.

Lead photo credit: DeLorean

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49 Responses

  1. I am 29 this year, and have owned the same 1972 VW Super Beetle since I was 11. Next month officially marks 18 years with the Beetle. My boy scout troop was auctioning it off to help raise funds for trips and I had always wanted a Beetle. My dad wanted me to learn about cars but didn’t want me messing with theirs so the Beetle seemed a good solution. It wasn’t in great shape and cost all of $825.

    Turns out I got a total rustbucket, but I’ve kept it going all these years including a full engine rebuild (first time for me) a few years back. Tried my hand at bodywork when I was 17 and realized I’m no good at it, but the $800 paint job still looks good 12 years later.

    I even had it at college with me for a couple years. While never a daily driver it’s been driven every week or so (when not down for repairs or when the roads are salted) for the last 18 years.

    I learned to drive in that car, and refused to drive an automatic until I had first mastered a manual. I gave God knows how many friends driving lessons in it back in high school.

    Anyway, all that to say, I love my little car. One day, I’ll be able to afford the serious metalwork the car needs. Due to its very rusty status it’s mostly my around-town car, which is a bummer. And it needs to much metalwork for me to feel comfortable trying to learn welding on it. I’d never finish.

  2. I had to scroll down to the photo to remember which Infiniti the Q60 is, which shows how terrible the re-imagined naming convention is for their brand. Thats a G35 Coupe. How did DeNychsen keep getting work?

  3. I bought my 2008 Grand Caravan SXT brand new in December of 2008, so that’s coming up on 14 years of ownership. It was my wife’s daily driver from 2008-2017 but these days it’s only used for road trips and hauling stuff. Current odometer is 169k miles, as of last weekend’s trip to Buttonwillow Raceway. Second to that would be my 2000 Boxster S 6-speed. I bought that in early 2009 with 65k miles on the odometer. This is how I spent some of the severance payment from Chrysler LLC – I left when they outsourced my entire department at the end of 2008 (and then they declared bankruptcy a few months later). The Boxster has been an weekend fun car for most of my ownership, although it was my daily driver for a bit in 2013.

  4. Do I win? I’ve owned a 1969 Camaro SS 350 I bought in 1992 when I was 17. I have owned it now for 30 years. I rebuilt the engine, transmission, and carb by myself when I was 19. That combo is still running like a champ all these years later. I drove it daily for 15 years. It’s in my garage and it’s not for sale!

  5. Not me but my family. Dad bought a new 1954 GMC pickup (I’m an old). He passed away, it stayed with my mom, and we used it for utility runs for another 10 years, so around 30 years. Mom gave it to my BIL, who then turned it into a pile of junk. I was heartbroken, because I wanted it.

  6. I’ve had my ’96 Subaru Legacy for 22 years. I’ve actually never sold a car. The last car that went away was totaled in a caribou collision. I like to keep things going as long as possible, whether that’s the dozens of patches and hand stitched mends on my favorite jacket, 1,000+ miles on my running shoes, or riding and keeping in 100% perfect mechanical shape a mountain bike that I’ve since new in 1993. I have a don’t waste, get as much use out of something as possible mentality.

    1. I’m like you. I by awesome cars and drive them into the ground. 8-10 years is typical for me. Then I normally buy another like it and continue the cycle. I’ve had two 5.0 Fox Mustangs, two Volvo 745s, two Volvo XC90s, three Volvo V70s.

  7. I’ve owned my NYG ACR Neon since December 2009. But it sat broken from May 2013 to July 2022. The second longest I’ve owned a car is my SRT-4 swapped LeBaron which I bought in 2015. The 3rd longest is my 5 speed swapped 89 Caravan I bought in February of 2016 and finally brought home Novemeber 2016 in a 1600 mile road trip from Texas to Pennsylvania after a 4 day long 5 speed swap at my friend’s house in San Antonio and then a 20 minute test drive.

    It’s kind of rare I sell a vehicle, although I’ve sold a few this year, but I like fun new projects, and then eventually they end up inconveniencing me, which they devolve to parts cars, and then I scrap them. I currently own 10 cars, but I think that’s mostly manageable, I don’t see myself getting anything new, and I see some of the ones I have moving on.

  8. I had my 2001 Jetta for about 9 years before some idiot took a left turn in front of me as I was going through the intersection and forced me into T boning him. Totally obliterated that car, and since it was 9 years old and had 180k plus miles, there was no fixing it. I still miss that car. 5 speed, lots of great features, and it still looks pretty modern. It was one of the very few Jettas that never really had any problems. I had a turn signal recall and a window recall, and that’s it. It was the first of a number of VW I’ve owned, but I don’t know that I’ve loved any of them as much as I did that one. Well, maybe my current wagon, but it’s close.

  9. I guess technically my 94 Pickup, but that hasn’t really seen DD use over the years. Last year, I replaced my 2002 Saturn that I DID daily for nearly 10 years. God I hated that car, but it cost me less than about $2000 over 10 years to buy and maintain, less insurance and taxes. 2012 Cadillac CTS replaced it. Also bought for a song (as far as Caddy’s go).

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