Finally, Here Come the Chinese Cars – Electric CODA Sedan on Sale This Month – Oh, But It’s a Big, Fat, Expensive POS :(

Get your David Herron Torque News right here and leave us begin…

From the same people who brought you WebVan (that would be Goldman Sachs people, you know the people what help create and the people who actually made money off of ridiculous WebVan) comes CODA: 

Direct from China, I mean, everybody just loves the People’s Republic of China these days, am I right, and only a half-decade late and now only about $10,000 overpriced, it’s your CODA Automotive Sedan:

Hold on a second, little piggy, let’s get some lipstick on you and somebody get Tianjin on the horn and ask them if they can get FoxConn to make us some dubs for the sport model, tell them we’ll offer $15 a piece: 

“Coda Automotive is in the final stretch before beginning first customer deliveries of the company’s all electric sedan.”

AND HAS BEEN FOR MORE THAN HALF A DECADE. HOW MANY THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE HAVE BEEN DISSAPOINTED WAITING FOR THIS CAR TO COME OUT BY THE “END OF 2008,” THE “END OF 2009,” THE “END OF 2010,” THE “MIDDLE OF 2011,” THE “END OF 2011,” THE “END OF JANUARY 2012,” THE “END OF FEBRUARY 2012,” AND NOW “THE END OF MARCH 2012?”

The Coda Sedan is partly manufactured by a Chinese automobile manufacturer,

IT’S A CHINESE CAR THOUGH, RIGHT? ACTUALLY, IT’S A FAILED MITSUBISHI/VOLVO JOINT FORMERLY CALLED THE MITSUBISHI CARISMA. IT CAME OUT IN 1994. THE EUROS DIDN’T WANT IT SO IT WAS NEVER PROPERLY DEVELOPED. THE PRODUCTION LINE TO MAKE THE CARISMA WAS SHIPPED TO CHINA. BUT UH OH, THE CARISMA FAILED IN THE CHINESE MARKET TOO, AS A $10,000 GASOLINE-ENGINED CAR. ANYWAY, THE BODY (THE DRIVETRAINLESS “GLIDER,” PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING YOU CAN SEE) IS MADE IN CHINA, AND THE BATTERY IS MADE IS CHINA, AND ALL THAT THOSE PEOPLE IN BENICIA DO IS SLAP THE TWO TOGETHER, FUNDAMENTALLY. THEY CALL IT “FINAL ASSEMBLY.”

and is shipped partially assembled to a facility in Benicia, CA, near San Francisco, for final assembly.

OH, I SEE YOU REALIZE THAT. WOULDN’T THE CODA BE A BETTER PRODUCT IF FINAL ASSEMBLY WERE DONE AT ONE OF THE FACTORIES IN CHINA? YEP. IT’S LIKE A BOX OF KRAFT DINNER – IF THE PASTA PART IS MADE IN CANADA AND THE CHEESE POWDER PACKET IS MADE IN CANADA BUT KRAFT SHIPS THE BOXED PASTA AND CHEESE PACKETS TO BENICIA, CA FOR “FINAL ASSEMBLY,” WOULD YOU SAY THAT THAT KRAFT DINNER WAS “MADE IN AMERICA?” OR “AMERICAN MADE?” CODA WOULD.

It is roughly the size of a standard size sedan, with an outline that is completely compatible with what we think of as a normal car.

A NORMAL TWO-DECADE OLD CAR. ALSO, ITS A BIT SMALL, LIKE A 1994 HONDA CIVIC.

The Sedan comes with a 31 kilowatt-hour battery pack offering a 125 mile range on the UDDS test cycle, for an MSRP of $37,250. It is also available with a 36 kilowatt-hour battery pack, a 150 mile range, and an MSRP of $39,500. In both cases the cost of the Coda Sedan is comparable with the Nissan Leaf, Ford Focus Electric and Chevy Volt, while offering a much longer electric range.

IN BOTH CASES, IT COSTS MORE THAN A NISSAN LEAF, RIGHT?

The Sedan has an outstanding value proposition in comparison with other electric cars.

ABSOLUTELY FALSE.

It’s electric range is the longest of any non-luxury battery electric vehicle.

THE TESLA ROADSTER IS NOT A LUXURY CAR. IT HAS A LONGER RANGE.

This is further than the comparably priced Nissan Leaf (80-100 miles versus 125+)…

UH, LOWER-PRICED NISSAN LEAF. YOU KNOW THE NISSAN LEAF RIGHT? IT’S A MODERN CAR, ONE FROM THIS MILLENNIUM…

It has “best-in-class charging capability”, meaning the Coda’s on-board charger is 6.6 kilowatts for 25 miles gained per hour of charging, versus the 3.3 kilowatt charger on the Leaf.

I’LL GRANT YOU THAT. NISSAN ADMITS IT MADE A MISTAKE WITH THE CHARGER. THIS IS NOT A BIG DEAL THOUGH.

It has “best in class torque and horsepower”, with a 100 kilowatt (134 horsepower) electric drive offering 221 ft-lb’s of torque.

MEH.

The 10 year, 100,000 mile battery warranty is also “best in class”,

ANY WARRANTY FROM A CRAPPY, LYING COMPANY LIKE CODA CAN’T BE CONSIDERED “BEST IN CLASS.”

…as is the 14.1 cubic feet of trunk space.

PART OF THE REASON WHY THE CARISMA FAILED IS THAT THE MAKER, NEDCAR, MADE THE TRUNK TOO BIG AND THE BACK SEAT TOO SMALL, SO THERE YOU GO.

Its price (MSRP) per mile of electric range is a “best in class” $292/mile versus $352/mile for the Nissan Leaf, $392/mile for the Ford Focus Electric, and a whopping $428/mile for the Mitsubishi i-Miev.

THIS IS A RIDICULOUS STAT.

The various ad

WELL PLAYED, NO ERRORS IN _THAT_ SENTENCE.

Hausch also presented two tables comparing cost of ownership of the Coda Sedan against the Toyota Prius and Toyota Corolla.

UH, ARE YOU CONFLATING THE BEST CAR COMPANY IN THE WORLD WITH ONE OF THE WORST? I THINK SO.

In both cases the Coda Sedan was shown to be cheaper to own, but this depends on which way the price of gasoline goes. The cost of ownership model comes from Edmunds, and accounts for the depreciation (the difference between purchase price and residual value after 5 years), taxes and fees, financing costs, fuel costs, insurance, maintenance, and repairs. Because the Coda Sedan is more expensive than either the Prius or Corolla, the depreciation and financing costs are higher, however this is more than made up for in fuel, maintenance and repair costs.

SO A SAN FRANCISCO RESIDENT RENTS A GARAGE TO HAVE A PLACE TO CHARGE A CODA AT NIGHT. THERE GOES YOUR BUDGET.

With $4/gallon gasoline, according to Coda’s figures, the five year ownership cost for a Toyota Prius Liftback IV is $43,268, while for the Coda Sedan it is $40,038. For the Toyota Corolla LE, and $5.50/gallon gasoline, the totals come out to $41,177 for the Corolla and $40,038 for the Coda. But, wait, you’re going to say gasoline doesn’t cost $5.50/gallon. Yes, the national average gas price is much less than that, today. Some parts of California are currently, today, paying over $5 per gallon for gasoline.

AGAIN, YOU CAN’T COMPARE POORLY-ENGINEERED VEHICLES WITH ANY TOYOTA PRODUCT. YOU’RE FORGETTING THAT THE CODA SEDAN IS A BIG POS.

Gasoline prices are far more volatile than are electricity prices, and electric car owners are immune to gasoline price shocks such as the one currently unfolding around us.

AM I SHOCKED TO SEE GAS OVER $4 AGAIN? NO.

See also Why electric cars are cheaper to drive than gasoline cars.

UH, NO THEY’RE NOT.

Enough about all that, what about the car?

YES. LET’S.

First off, the fit and finish are excellent

NOPE!

and it looks really nice.

NOPE!

The prototype Coda brought two years ago was drab and humdrum by comparison, and clearly Coda’s designers have spent the last two years focusing on details.

FROM HITLER TO GANDHI OR SOMETHING, HUH?

It’s a five seater sedan, however reports from those who sat in the rear seat said it was a bit cramped.

YES YES YES, INDEED. A BIT CRAMPED.

The drivers seat was comfortable with controls where you expect them. Except, that is, for the gear shifter. Instead of a shift lever to select between Park, Reverse and Drive, one turns a knob. The knob is straight-forward to use, but is different than normal and will require a bit of an accommodation period. Coda’s knob makes more sense than the one in the Leaf.

DISAGREE.

Handling is responsive with no lag between turning the wheel and direction changes.

WOW! IT TURNS LEFT _AND_ RIGHT!

Acceleration is good,

NOPE!

however we were driving on city streets giving limited ability to fully test this. The regenerative braking was pleasant and almost good enough for a one foot driving driving style where you accelerate, then let regen slow the car. Regen response starts soft, then as the car slows down the regen braking becomes stronger, almost to the point of completely stopping the car, at which point the regen lets up and in order to actually stop one has to operate the brakes.

SOMETHING I DIDN’T KNOW. OK.

Coda has already made first deliveries of the Sedan to dealerships, including the Del Grande Dealership Group (DGDG)

REALLY, THE DGDG? HURRAY! LET’S ALL GO THERE NOW AND BUY BUY BUY!

which will handle sales in the SF Bay Area. Hausch says the company is on track for first customer deliveries beginning in March 2012.

“ON TRACK” SINCE 2007, RIGHT?

The Sedan is sold only in California.

THE SEDAN WILL ONLY BE SOLD IN CALIFORNIA, RIGHT? FOR NOW, ANYWAY. HEY, WHEN IS CODA GOING TO GO FULL SOLYNDRA? PLACE YOUR BETS.

In short Coda has put together a very good value proposition,

NOPE!

a low cost of ownership,

NOPE!

excellent all-electric range,

WE’LL SEE.

while packaging all this in a nicely appointed sedan.

NOPE!

The company’s main challenge, as a small automotive startup, will be getting the attention of potential buyers who are accustomed to going to the large automakers.

THE COMPANY’S MAIN CHALLEGE WILL BE TO MAKE A PRODUCT THAT PEOPLE WILL WANT TO BUY. THE SEDAN ISN’T A PIECE OF CRAP BECAUSE CODA IS A STARTUP, IT’S A PIECE OF CRAP BECAUSE CODA DID A CRAPPY JOB.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Responses to “Finally, Here Come the Chinese Cars – Electric CODA Sedan on Sale This Month – Oh, But It’s a Big, Fat, Expensive POS :(”

  1. Doug Marker says:

    Come on, don’t hold back. What do you really think?

  2. I Royce says:

    You have to be nuts! This is really a nice car, I drove one this weekend and it really was sweet! I have driven a Leaf for several months and they are a good car, this Coda blows it away, so much quicker and a much better ride. Where did you get that old picture? That looks nothing like the car we drove this weekend in SF. You seem like you have a grudge against this car, I think you need to drive one and then rewrite this article, you must have a lot of stock in Shell Oil or something….

  3. jason says:

    You’re right, he’s Nuts! But that the People for the American Way, “now! No Press, No information. It’s all about entertainment. Inspiring you and I to defer some from the article % address the style. Entertainment style. calling the car a POS. All American way. Judge Judy. Limburger. IMUS, Nancy Disgrace. Glen Beck. How did these CREEPS get on American TV? What the Heck am “I” talking about?? That’s why Obermann calls it Fox Noise. It detracts, distracts, distorts. Disguised as NEWS. You listen, You become one. Assimilated into the Collective. Making noise like them. Beam me up Scotty! Coda is a good looking car with good looking Specs! Electric is a 1000 times Less complicated than a gas car. Just concentrate on quality control & you could have a great car. This guy is not like all those weirdos. He’s more like Howard Stern!

  4. Steve says:

    Actually, except for the front grill I think this car looks good. But unless we are talking about the 1967 Ro80 I don’t get excited about car design – unless it has an electric motor….
    CODA have done an allright job. If only they could get the price a bit lower.
    It’s an appealing car. I hope they succeed.
    As for all the knockers, let those who condemn do better.

Leave a Reply