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California automaker Fisker make worldwide headlines in July 2011 when actor/activist Leonardo DiCaprio bought the first Fisker Karma ever produced, a plush luxury plug-in hybrid car that cost in the vicinity of a cool $100,000 (Politicos Colin Powell and Al Gore were the next in line). As reported by Bloomberg, this week Fisker and DiCaprio (who is now an investor in the company) have announced a combined global sustainability campaign that promotes both the automaker as well as DiCaprio’s own charitable foundation.
“As an equity investor in Fisker Automotive, DiCaprio will participate in conversations on the auto manufacturer’s future plans for the advancement of sustainable, responsible vehicles,” the company said in a statement, adding that DiCaprio will “work closely with Fisker on marketing and promotional initiatives aimed at bringing attention to sustainability and environmental awareness.”
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It wasn’t all that long ago that Paul Newman was the first (and last) name in charitable food lines. Launching Newman’s Own back in 1982, he famously directed all of the proceeds from his salad dressings, lemonade and the like to charity, with an emphasis on “conservation and ecology and things like that.”
Now, you can’t launch a web browser without seeing another celebrity shilling foodstuffs, especially when it comes to caffeinated gold, coffee. It was only a few months ago that Hugh Jackman introduced his Laughing Man brand of “charity coffee” as well as a Manhatten café.
Not to be outdone, young(er) Hollywood is getting into the act. Leonardo DiCaprio has partnered with the coffee roasters of La Colombe Torrefaction to introduce Lyon, a high-end coffee blend. 100% of the profits from the sales of Lyon will go environmental charities already supported by the Leonardi DiCaprio foundation.
It’s a story of inspiration that will make for a great bio-pic someday: former BMW designer and current entrepreneur Henrik Fisker was watching the 2007 Academy Awards ceremony on TV when he was struck by the sight of Leonardo DiCaprio showing up to the grand fete in a Prius.
“He could have bought any car in the world,” Fisker told Reuters back in 2009, “and I remember seeing that on television and thinking to myself, you know, when you’ve got a guy who could buy any Ferrari or Rolls Royce and he’s buying a Prius, you know something is changing dramatically.”
It was from that moment of inspiration that Fisker was moved to create the appropriately named Karma (pictured above), designed to be the world’s premier high-end luxury hybrid vehicle. Once Fisker began production on the cars, he quickly racked up 3,000 preorders, despite the base price range of $90,000. To show his appreciation, the first vehicle to roll down the assembly was promised to DiCaprio. The second and third cars were earmarked for none less than Al Gore and Colin Powell. When DiCaprio hit the streets in his Karma for the first time in August of last year, it made celebrity and environmental news around the world. In December, British automotive magazine Top Gear named the Karma both Luxury Car and Car of the Year for 2011.