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.
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.
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.)
“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.
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:
“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