Former Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann is joining the senior management team of electric-vehicle startup Evelozcity.
Neumann will be in charge of mobility and will develop the company’s connected car strategy, launch mobility concepts and oversee customer experience, branding and marketing.
He will also be in charge of Evelozcity’s move into Europe and will be a big driver of innovation across the start-up.
“One of Neumann’s first priorities will be leading innovative solutions such as Evelozcity’s blockchain strategy,” the company said in a press release.
Evelozcity was founded by Stefan Krause, a former BMW and Deutsche Bank executive, who, before establishing the company, was CFO of Californian EV maker Faraday Future. Also on board from BMW and FF is Ulrich Kranz, who is in charge of technology at Evelozcity.
Evelozcity’s goal is to build affordable EVs for commuting, ride-sharing and package delivery. It is developing what it calls a ‘skateboard architecture” to house battery and electric drivetrain. It also plans to make broad use of contract manufacturing partners to keep manufacturing costs down.
Enthusiastic about new mobility
Neumann resigned from Opel not long after France’s PSA Group acquired the German brand from General Motors. That transaction closed last year.
Before joining Opel, Neumann served in senior management positions at Volkswagen Group. He also was CEO of supplier Continental earlier in his career.
Neumann has been enthusiastic about the mobility revolution and he has repeatedly expressed optimism about the prospects for electric vehicles.
About his move to Evelozcity, he said on Twitter last week: “We want to build the cars for the urban mobility of the future.”
Since he left Opel, there had been speculation that Neumann would be appointed to another top executive position at a global automaker or supplier group. But in the press release accompanying his Evelozcity appointment, he cited a lack of faith in the traditional auto industry’s ability to lead the transformation of the business.
“We need new transportation concepts and e-mobility to free cities of traffic and pollution,” he said. “I have looked at many options and believe that the traditional carmakers will not be driving the change.”
And he added: “Evelozcity reflects my beliefs of what is required and that’s why I joined.”
Earlier this month, Neumann also became an investor in mobility startup door2door.
-By Arjen Bongard