Ooh Nice One, Goldman Sachs! CODA Automotive in Bankruptcy Today – The Bay Area’s OTHER Electric Car “Factory”

Read the news and turn the pages.

I remember seeing CODA Automotive’s first SFMTA bus stop ad back in 2010. I thought, “Man, what a turkey.” That’s the year I started the DeathWatch.

This whole CODA concept appeared to be another big fat loser from Goldman Sachs and that’s exactly what it turned out to be.

Oh well.

Ah memories, memories from 2010:

Whatever You Do, DON’T Put $499 Down on the $45K, Mostly Chinese, All-Electric Coda Sedan

I’ll tell you, the Mitsubishi Carisma didn’t exactly slay the European market when it went on sale a decade and a half ago. Simply, it wasn’t popular. Then a regional car maker in China tried to take the design from Mitsu and make a version to sell to the Chinese in 2005. It wasn’t popular there neither, even at a price of just $10,000. It, as they say, “lacked quality to make a mark” in the Chinese market. O.K. then.

Well, they went and took out the gas engine and fitted it with a big heavy battery and a lightweight motor and that’s how we’re getting the 2011 Coda Automotive Sedan at a price of, wait for it, Holy Toledo, $44,900. That’s the news of the day, 45K, officially.

Should California and the feds give you tax credits to buy this thing if all Coda Automotive is going to do is raise the price sky high?

What a POS this thing is. Just look at it. In some ways better, and in some ways worse than your sister’s ’94 Honda Civic:

Now, they’re going to have a showroom in the bay area soon and they’re going to let you take a test drive starting next month. Fine, test drive the thing, I don’t care. But don’t give them a deposit, don’t encourage them.

All right, what about the all-electric Nissan LEAF, the Coda Sedan’s arch-rival? The LEAF is better and cheaper.

Here’s what an overly-excited CODA fan was saying about the LEAF last year:

“It’s an alien-looking buggy with small wheels and no nose that won’t look like a real car to American buyers”

Uh, no, that’s incorrect. Sorry.

via NissanLEAF

Hey, here’s a question:

Why is the LEAF so much cheaper than the CODA?

Yes the CODA has a big trunk that the LEAF lacks but so what. (The CODA  has small rear seat area because of that big trunk, so oh well.)

Uh oh:

“More ominously for the company, the sedan is more expensive than the Nissan Leaf, which will retail for $32,800 before incentives. Put another way, the Leaf is almost as cheap before incentives as the Coda is after incentives. And Nissan has a well-known brand name and  years of automotive experience.”

Here’s another question:

Why does the CODA cost so much more than the Chinese design it’s based upon?

Here’s another question:

How on Earth can people call the CODA an American car if the bulk of it, the glider (basically the entire car except for the battery/transmission) is made in one factory in China and the giant battery is made in another factory in China? What’s that, you wait for the boats to arrive in L.A. County Contra Costa? Solano?, Alameda? (one of them counties anyway) and then slap the battery and various whatnots inside the glider and that’s your “final assembly” in America? I cry foul.

Let’s face it, the Coda Sedan is a Chinese car, whether you like that or not.

Maybe a $45k electric sedan seemed like a good idea last year, but this thing is looking like a clunker already. That’s why people are saying that it, “may be a tough sell.”

Now, speaking of tough sells, let’s look at some of the marketing we’re getting from the CODA people. Go ahead, click and read along:

Electric agility

“The CODA might be the most agile car you’ve ever driven.”


“Do you know the feeling of stomping the pedal and waiting for the car to build speed? Those days are over. The experience of driving a CODA is completely different.”

Well, I know what a Chevy Chevette Diesel automatic is like. It’s slow, with a o-60 time of 20 seconds plus. I know your CODA is quicker than that, but is the experience of driving the thing “completely different” from other cars? Nope.

“It’s small, energy-dense UQM PowerPhase® electric motor packs a punch, and weighs hundreds of pounds less than internal combustion engines.”

How can a motor be “energy-dense?” Shouldn’t you be talking about the energy density of the battery instead? Speaking of which, how much does the battery weigh? Isn’t that the more salient aspect?

“So whether you’re standing still or moving at a good pace, you’ll get instant torque and acceleration when you need it.”

You’re selling an electric car on this basis? Isn’t the CODA slower than the average car being sold today? Yep.

All right, caveat emptor.

All the deets, after the jump

CODA Automotive Launches Direct-to-Consumer Sales of Its All-Electric, Zero Tailpipe Emissions Sedan

Deposits Now Accepted At Newly Redesigned Website; Initial Pricing Details and Framework of Unique Consumer Acquisition Experience, Service Infrastructure and Retail Model Announced

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Sept. 21 — CODA Automotive, a California-based, American-engineered electric car and battery company, today announced that it is accepting deposits for its 100% electric, four-door, five-passenger sedan designed to meet the majority of American drivers’ daily transportation needs without using an ounce of gasoline. Drivers looking to jumpstart the electrification movement can now reserve a CODA(TM) with a fully-refundable $499 deposit at www.codaautomotive.com. Details of CODA’s Effortless Care customer ownership experience were also announced.

The all-electric CODA Sedan(TM) is capable of up to 120 miles of dependable, all-season range(i), and has a price as low as $37,400(ii), after federal tax savings up to $7,500(iii). The car will qualify for additional California state incentives, including up to a $5,000 tax rebate as available through the state’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, and HOV access through 2015. CODA  also currently plans to begin selling vehicles in Hawaii in the third quarter of 2011, where the car will be eligible for a $4,500 tax rebate offered in the state.  CODA is finalizing the details of a program that is expected to offer consumers competitive leasing and financing options. CODA expect that fleet sales may comprise approximately 40% of total sales. Specific details will be announced later this year.

“We are excited to begin offering our friends and neighbors a vehicle that meets their day-to-day driving needs, reduces their ownership costs and satisfies their desire to be better stewards of the environment,” said Kevin Czinger, President and CEO, CODA Automotive. “From putting clean, emissions-free miles on our highways, to supporting thousands of new jobs nationwide, our current partners and future customers are uniquely positioned to be a signature catalyst in the electrification movement.”

The CODA Advantage: Best-in-Class Performance at a Competitive, Attainable Price Delivered Through a Transparent, Direct-To-Consumer Acquisition Experience

Unique to CODA’s innovative approach is its customer-centric sales, acquisition and service model designed to make the ownership experience effortless for consumers. The company plans to transform the traditional automotive industry approach through its unique retail and educations centers. Initial flagship locations are planned in Santa Monica and the San Francisco Bay Area, with additional satellite stores located in high-traffic shopping centers throughout the state. The locations will focus on consumer education and test drives while a direct-to-consumer delivery model will eliminate the additional costs associated with a more standard dealer model.

A CODA “valet” service will be available to all CODA owners providing an effortless ownership experience by acting as the primary point-of-contact for questions or service needs for every original CODA electric car owner.  In the event service is required, a CODA Valet(TM) will interact directly with a world-class network of authorized service providers and CODA-trained technicians so CODA owners don’t have to.  CODA is  establishing six geographically targeted, CODA-operated service centers to perform necessary warranty and battery system repairs while scheduled maintenance may be performed at more than 20 select Firestone Complete Auto Care(TM) locations in California.

For added piece-of-mind, every CODA will come standard with 24/7 CODA Roadside Assistance(iv)  and a call-center concierge service facilitated by a team of trained experts equipped to perform remote diagnostic evaluations, schedule service appointments and mobilize emergency services in the event of an accident.  In addition, CODA owners will receive a courtesy loan vehicle provided by Enterprise Rent-A-Car during warranty repairs or scheduled maintenance appointments.

CODA Sedan: 40% More Energy than Comparable EVs in its Class, Room for 5, and Dependable All-Season Range

Powered by an innovative 33.8 kWh, 333V Lithium-ion (iron phosphate) electric car battery system, the CODA Sedan will achieve a minimum range of 90-120 miles per charge dependably, in real world driving and in any season(i). The CODA features an advanced Active Thermal Management system that keeps the battery system at an ideal operating temperature at all times – even when the vehicle is parked. This technology is essential to the cycle life, durability, capacity and reliability of automotive grade battery systems. The electric vehicle will be backed by a three-year/36,000 mile limited warranty and a limited battery warranty of eight-years/100,000 miles.

The CODA features a 6.6 kW onboard charger, the largest in its class, helping to facilitate a complete charge in about six hours(v) from a 220V charger.  Charging for a 40-mile commute can take as little as 2 hours.  Based on average nighttime (off-peak) electricity rates in the U.S., the anticipated cost to fully charge the CODA Sedan is under $3(vi). CODA will provide its customers with a home inspection and the equipment needed to ensure the appropriate in-home charging infrastructure is available and installed prior to delivery.

Every CODA Sedan(TM) will come equipped with standard active and passive safety systems, including six advanced airbags with an occupant detection system, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC).

“The CODA is designed to meet the day-to-day driving needs of the majority of American commuters and families ready to leave the gas station in the rear-view mirror,” said Mike Jackson, SVP Global Sales, Marketing and Distribution, CODA Automotive. “With a new technology introduction in the automotive category, dependability, quality and safety are key, and these attributes have been our focus since day one.”

Additional standard features of the CODA Sedan(TM) include:

—  Satellite-Ready AM/FM/XM radio
—  MP3, iPod®, iPhone® and USB connectivity
—  8-inch color touch-screen
—  Turn-by-turn navigation with available real-time weather and traffic
—  GreenScreen® system that monitors driving efficiency
—  One-touch roadside assistance and accident notification system
—  Bluetooth® hands-free phone system
—  Power windows, door-locks and mirrors
—  17-inch forged aluminum-alloy wheels
—  More than 14 cubic feet of trunk space
—  Interior upholstery featuring environmentally friendly materials

A complete listing of features and technical specifications is available at www.codaautomotive.com

A New Home For the CODA Movement:  Redesigned Website Triggers Start of Full Marketing and Promotional Efforts Focused on Education, Advocacy, Test Drives and Sales

In addition to facilitating secure consumer deposits for the all-electric CODA Sedan(TM), the newly redesigned website features fresh car images, detailed technical specifications, bright Infographics and several interactive calculators. You can now see if CODA is right for you, understand your real driving range needs and the cost savings impact of driving a CODA instead of a gas-powered car. The site is also a one-stop place for breaking CODA news, blog posts, videos and articles.

CODA will be conducting “Ride and Drive” Events throughout California expected to start in October, allowing consumers to experience the CODA firsthand. The CODA Twitter and Facebook pages will be announcing upcoming events and opportunities to see the electric cars. CODA will be on display at the Los Angeles Auto show from November 17 to 28.

The announcement is the latest in a string of recent milestones for CODA. Last spring it closed its Series C investment round to bring its total invested capital to more than $125 million, with strong international participation from leading investors in North America, Europe and Asia. In May, CODA unveiled plans to open a lithium-ion battery system manufacturing facility in Ohio, pending approval of an application for a Department of Energy Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) loan. Limited consumer deliveries are slated for the end of 2010 with a production target of 14,000 vehicles by the end of 2011.

About CODAAutomotive: Headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif., CODA Automotive(TM) is working to reduce dependence on oil and is leading the way to a cleaner future through advanced battery systems for its 100% electric car, other electric vehicle manufacturers and utility applications such as wind power storage. CODA is working in a smart, interdependent way with more than 30 leading global technology and manufacturing companies across four continents to quickly and efficiently bring electric drive technology to market. Through its exclusive battery system joint venture with Lishen Power Battery, LIO Energy Systems(TM), CODA is also a large-scale producer of power battery systems for transportation and utility applications. CODA is slated to begin limited deliveries of its all-electric car in the fourth quarter of this year (2010). The CODA Sedan(TM) is a five-passenger, mid-size car with full rear seating and trunk space that is designed to meet American drivers’ daily transportation needs without using an ounce of gasoline.

For more information, please visit www.codaautomotive.com, follow @CODAautomotive on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CODAautomotive, or visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/coda.

(i)  Up to 120 miles based on US06 (aggressive driving/high speed test) and LA4/UDDS (city driving) EPA tests. Like any electric vehicle, CODA’s electric miles per charge will vary. Like all vehicles, electric vehicles are less efficient in extreme temperatures. In addition, personal driving style, heavy cargo loads and battery age will also affect vehicle performance.

(ii)  After tax savings, net as low as $37,400. MSRP $44,900, with federal tax savings from 0-$7,500. Excludes tax, title and license. Initially available through online reservation process. Deliveries are expected to commence in December 2010. Subject to change. Limited quantities available in California only. Increased availability is expected in Spring 2011 with full market rollout expected through 2012. Taxpayer must incur federal tax liability to receive full benefits. Consult your tax professional.

(iii)  To help determine rebate eligibility, please visit http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=206871,00.html/

(iv)  “Warranty roadside assistance services” are provided by the AAA service provider network.  Coverage expires 3 years or 36,000 miles from the date vehicle is purchased.  If necessary, a covered CODA vehicle will be towed to the nearest authorized service facility within 50 miles.  Towing benefits are limited to 50 miles from the breakdown point.  Additional terms and conditions apply.

(v)  The time necessary for a full charge can vary between five to seven hours, but takes an average of six hours.

(vi)  Off-peak electricity rates will vary per state. Please check with your local utility for actual rates.

Firestone Complete Auto Care(TM) is a trademark of Firestone Complete Auto Care. Firestone Complete Auto Care is not affiliated with CODA Automotive, Inc. and does not endorse CODA Automotive, Inc.’s products.  Greenscreen® and Lio Energy Systems(TM) are trademarks of CODA Automotive, Inc.

iPod® and iPhone® are registered trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc. Apple Computer, Inc. is not affiliated with CODA Automotive, Inc. and does not endorse CODA Automotive, Inc.’s products.

Bluetooth® is a registered trademark of Bluetooth Sig, Inc. Bluetooth Sig, Inc. is not affiliated with CODA Automotive, Inc. and does not endorse CODA Automotive, Inc.’s products.

SOURCE  CODA Automotive

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

Leave a Reply