Scott Ahlman, Karma Automotive’s New VP, Engineering Brings Results-Oriented Racing Mindset to Ultra-Luxury Technology Company
IRVINE, Calif. (Dec. 11, 2024) — Scott Ahlman, with nearly 30 years leading system architecture, system engineering and chassis/vehicle dynamics design in Indy Car, NASCAR, IMSA and Formula One, has been named Vice President, Engineering & Corporate Chief Engineer by Karma Automotive. The Southern California ultra-luxury technology manufacturer, which recently debuted its 180 mph-plus Kaveya super coupe, is looking for Ahlman to shepherd the company’s burgeoning exotic vehicle lineup, according to Tom Reichenbach, Karma’s acting Senior Vice President, Engineering.
“Scott has a racing mindset – he’s all about results. He doesn’t show up to compete, he shows up to win.” says Reichenbach, who previously worked with Ahlman at Ford Racing, on the Ford GT (then the world’s fastest production car) and at Honda Racing. “Scott is an exceptionally focused, hard-working, disciplined engineer. His ability to align product attributes with customer needs and team results in a performance-oriented operating system is uncanny.”
Ahlman admits he was born a gearhead thanks to his father. “When I was four, we hammered through a cloverleaf in his Austin Healy. I was hooked on performance for life,” he says.
After graduating with a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he was co-captain of the Formula SAE team, Ahlman joined Ford and quickly became the first chassis/vehicle dynamics engineer for Ford Racing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck series (1995 – 1996). This was followed by a five-year stint as the vehicle dynamics engineer for Team Rahal in the Champ (Indy) Car series.
In 2001, Ahlman says, “Ford Racing sent me to grad school at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) while I was also supporting my vehicle dynamics teammates in various racing series, including F1.”
In 2002-2005, he guided the chassis system architecture (the concept), system engineering (making the whole greater than the sum of its parts), chassis design and vehicle dynamics for the Ford GT from start to finish.
With a master’s degree in system design and management from MIT in hand, he founded Ahlman Engineering, serving as the chief engineer leading vehicle, sub system and high-fidelity vehicle dynamics modeling software concepts. Ahlman’s company contracted to develop winning race cars for an array of clients, including Roush Fenway Racing, Andretti Motorsport, Rahal Letterman Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports.
Now comes an entirely new challenge at Karma.
“My first two weeks were focused on understanding the strengths and gaps of our people, processes and products to clearly define any issues. We will simplify, be holistic and predictive, and treat milestones as immovable deadlines. We’ll refine our product development process to be simple and pragmantic,” says Ahlman, who oversees total vehicle platform development and integration.
“We are creating a team that will create truly amazing products,” says Karma President Marques McCammon. “We are not here to make cars; we are here to turn 4,000-plus parts into passion-invoking experiences that connect the driver to the machine and allows them to exist as one. It’s a large challenge, but I’m confident that Scott will help ensure that the Karma team will get it right the first time.”
About Karma Automotive
Karma Automotive is an ultra-luxury vehicle company that engineers, designs and manufactures its electric and range extended electric vehicles in Southern California. Headquartered in Irvine, with a production facility up the road in Moreno Valley, Karma’s dealer network includes North America, Europe, South America and the Middle East.
2024 will mark Karma’s 10th anniversary – a yearlong celebration that features the world debut of several vehicles, a renewed focus on the company’s mission to be an inspiration for a cleaner global future as well as the introduction of Karma’s new brand campaign.