Posts Tagged ‘factory’

On This Warm Day, Savor the Idea of Finding THE WORLD’S LARGEST IT’S IT Ice Cream Sandwich

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

This thing prolly has like 20,000 calories.

So refreshing!

South of SFO and north of expectations:

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Bumper Sticker Tells All to “BUY AMERICAN!” – Except this Car was Hecho’ed en Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico

Friday, February 7th, 2014

Isn’t it ironic?

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Don’tcha think?

Oh Nativists, will you ever win?

Fashion Update: How to Get $90 Lucky Brand Jeans at Costco for Just $17, Sort Of – The Miracle of “Urban Star”

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

All right, work with me here, people. Them stretchy 361 Vintage Straight jeans from Lucky Brand go for $90, right?

Or you can get them at the Lucky Outlet for like $60 or so. The outlet version has a different button but otherwise it’s the real deal.

Or you can get that very same outlet version at Costco #144 for like $36.

Now here’s the kicker. Costco also sells “Urban Star” jeans that are the same exact thing, pretty much, for just $16-something.

Look at the pockets – Lucky in the background, Urban Star in the foreground:

(Or you can get Urban Star from a reseller at Amazon for $25.)

So this means that the markup for Lucky is like 500%?

News to me.

Anyway, I guess what I’m saying is that, just as Soylent Green is people, Urban Star is Lucky Jeans.

Shots From The 100: The Biggest Windmill I’ve Ever Seen – For the Giant Anheuser-Busch Beer Brewery in Fairfield, CA

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

Back in the day, we only had little wind turbines.

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Anheuser-Busch and Foundation Windpower assembled a white wind turbine with a tower some 320 feet tall at the Budweiser brewery along Interstate 80. Hundreds of such mammoth turbines are in place 10 miles to the east in rural Montezuma Hills pastureland, but this one is in Fairfield city limits. Brewing beer at Budweiser should soon be a breeze. Plant General Manager Kevin Finger estimated the turbine could provide 20 percent of the electricity for the brewery.”

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

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

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.”

Nope!

“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

(more…)

Coda DeathWatch, Day 898: Coda Automotive is Coding – Crappy, Expensive Electric Cars – Thanks, Goldman Sachs!

Friday, March 29th, 2013

This is the end of the Coda Automotive DeathWatch, which started on October 14th, 2010.

But tell me if I’m wrong, tell me if the final assembly facility in Benicia starts chugging out product all of a sudden ala Willie Wonka’s chocolate factory.

Otherwise, I’m concluding that Coda is dead. It’s not responding to stimuli, anyway.

Get the story here, just keep on clicking back in time to learn about the star-crossed Coda Sedan.

Why did we, the taxpayers, subsidize Coda when it was obvious that it couldn’t succeed?

I don’t know.

Now back in 2007, the electric car we were going to get from China was called the Javlon XS500. It was suppose to come in 2008. It didn’t. Check it:

Adieu, Coda Automotive.

Miles Automotive on the $30,000 Javlon XS500 all-electric sedan

Then, in 2008, we were promised the Miles XS500. That was going to come in 2009. It didn’t. Check it:

Miles XS500 will be a lot more expensive than planned, maybe

Then, in 2009, we were promised the Coda Automotive Sedan. That was going to come in 2010. It didn’t. Check it:

Coda Automotive Unveils New Mainstream All-Electric Sedan

And on and on.

Per Wiki:

Coda’s investors include:

  • Aeris CAPITAL – a private Swiss investment office
  • Harbinger Capital Partners - private hedge fund based in New York City, New York.
  • Riverstone Holdings - a private equity firm based in New York City, New York.
  • Piper Jaffray - a U.S. middle-market investment banking firm based in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Angeleno Group – a Los Angeles based private equity firm
  • EDB Investments (EDBI) – an investment firm headquartered in Singapore
  • Countyline LLC – an investment entity owned by Tony Pritzker and J.B. Pritzker
  • John Bryson, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce and adviser at Kohlberg Kravis Roberts[23]
  • Miles L. Rubin – Founder and Chairman Emeritus of CODA Automotive; former CEO of Detroit Iron & Steel Industries, Reliance Manufacturing, Puritan Fashions Corp. and Polo Ralph Lauren Jeanswear
  • Steven “Mac” Heller – Executive Chairman of CODA Automotive; former Goldman Sachs Head of Mergers & Acquisitions, Worldwide and Co-Head of the Investment Banking Division[23]
  • Tom Steyer – Managing Director of Hellman & Friedman, a San Francisco private equity firm; Founder, Co-Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Farallon Capital; member of the Board of Trustees of Stanford University[23]
  • Klaus Tschira, founder of SAP AG[23]
  • Les Wexner – Chairman and CEO of Limited Brands
  • Henry “Hank” Paulson - former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, former Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs and special representative of the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue[23]
  • Mack McLarty – (Thomas “Mack” McLarty) Former Chief of Staff for President Bill Clinton, President of McLarty Associates and McLarty Companies, a transportation business based in Little Rock, Arkansas[23]
  • Kevin Czinger – Senior Strategic Advisor, CODA Automotive; Former President and CEO at CODA Automotive, executive at Global Signal, Webvan Group, Bertelsmann AG, and Goldman Sachs

Board of Directors

  • Miles L. Rubin – Founder and Chairman Emeritus, CODA Automotive; former CEO of Detroit Iron & Steel Industries, Reliance Manufacturing, Puritan Fashions Corp. and Polo Ralph Lauren Jeanswear
  • Steven “Mac” Heller – Executive Chairman, CODA Automotive; former Goldman Sachs Head of Mergers & Acquisitions, Worldwide and Co-Head of the Investment Banking Division
  • Alan Chesick – Acting Legal Advisor of CODA Automotive, former general counsel of Fortress Investment Group
  • Daniel Weiss – Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Angeleno Group LLC, a leading Los Angeles-based private equity firm focused on high growth investments in the energy sector
  • John Bryson - Former Chairman, CEO and President of Edison International from 1990 through 2008, a director at The Boeing Company, The Walt Disney Company, and the California Institute of Technology
  • Niall Davis – One of ten founding partners of Swiss aeris CAPITAL AG, a large global private equity firm
  • Philip Murtaugh – CEO, CODA Automotive; former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GM China, EVP International Operations of SAIC
  • James P. McGinnis – Managing Director, Harbinger Capital Partners
  • Lord John Browne – Managing Director and Managing Partner of Riverstone Holdings LLC, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Chair of the Tate, Member of the House of Lords

Board of Advisors

  • Mack McLarty – (Thomas “Mack” McLarty) Former Chief of Staff for President Bill Clinton, President of McLarty Associates and McLarty Companies, a transportation business based in Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Dr. Thomas Cardello – Partner of Sunrise Capital, an institutional fund manager, Advisory Director and former MD of Global Electronic Derivative Market making for Morgan Stanley
  • Dr. Michael Wang – Manager of the Systems Assessment Section of the Center for Transportation Research at Argonne Labs, serves as a senior advisor to the Chinese government on new vehicle technology and alternative energy production
  • Henry “Hank” Paulson - former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, former Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs and special representative of the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue
  • Thomas F. Steyer – Managing Director of Hellman & Friedman, a San Francisco private equity firm; Founder, Co-Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Farallon Capital; member of the Board of Trustees of Stanford University
  • Woo C. Lee – Head of Asia for the advisory firm JL Thornton & Company, formerly a U.S. diplomat at American embassies in China, Japan, Australia and Southeast Asia
  • Thomas R. McDaniel – Director of SunPower Corp., SemGroup, LP, Cypress Envirosystems, and the Senior Care Action Network and Formerly executive vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer of Edison International
  • Kevin Czinger – Senior Strategic Advisor, CODA Automotive; Former President and CEO at CODA Automotive, executive at Global Signal, Webvan Group, Bertelsmann AG, and Goldman Sachs

 

CODA Automotive, the Company What Builds Crappy Electric Cars in the Bay Area, Has Sold Just 78 Vehicles?

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Why on earth are we subsidizing the totally crummy CODA Automotive electric car company? It baffles me. What makes it a good company, what makes it worthy? Nothing.

Anyway, here’s the latest, as expected, the first recall notice has come early, before CODA even delivered 100 cars worldwide.

Here’s their “Statement” about the matter:

“CODA Automotive is committed to safety and has voluntarily recalled* 78 of its 2012 CODA model year vehicles within the VIN range of 53G1U4A48CB000026 to 53G1U4A48CB000260. The recall campaign was issued because of the potential that the side curtain airbags in certain vehicles may not deploy as intended due to an improper installation. Certain 2012 model year CODA vehicles may have this condition. There are no known injuries related to this recent discovery. CODA Automotive holds itself to the highest safety standards and continually strives to offer the most reliable product for its consumers.”

Now, I’ll ask you, how many tens of thousands of these vehicles were supposed to have been sold by now? Well, I’ll answer you: SEVERAL! And yet this recall notice shows just how unpopular this product is, even though I can think of at least four huge subsidies the government grants to its owners.

Oh, but what’s this, it’s a non-crappy electric car what’s cheaper than anything from Coda. It’s a Nissan Leaf, which the Coda people have been criticizing for years. Oh well. Anyway, adorable, non?

BTW, 35,000 LEAFs have been sold so far, worldwide.

So, CODA, why don’t you take your assets and try to give them to the govmint to make up for all that you have cost us?

Solyndra shut itself down, so can you!

*This recall is a nothingburger, really. I mean, my giant Toyota doesn’t have side-curtain airbags and nobody’s recalling it, right? The recall notice is important because it gives us a clue to CODA’s abysmal sales….

OMG, SUBSTANCE 1987 was Released by New Order a Quarter Century Ago – They Return October 5th

Friday, August 17th, 2012

Wow, Substance was released on August 17, 1987, exactly 25 years ago. Check it out a bit below, if you want.

Also, they’re coming back to the bay area, believe it or not. Fox Theatre, October 5th.

True Faith video

Disc 1:

  1. Ceremony” – 4:23
  2. Everything’s Gone Green” – 5:30
  3. Temptation” – 6:59
  4. Blue Monday” – 7:29
  5. Confusion” – 4:43
  6. Thieves Like Us” – 6:36
  7. The Perfect Kiss” – 8:02
  8. Sub-culture” – 4:48
  9. Shellshock” – 6:28
  10. State of the Nation” – 6:32
  11. Bizarre Love Triangle” – 6:44
  12. True Faith” – 5:55

Disc 2:

  1. “In a Lonely Place” – 6:16
  2. Procession” – 4:27
  3. “Cries and Whispers” – 3:25
  4. “Hurt” – 6:58
  5. The Beach” – 7:19
  6. Confusion (Instrumental)” – 7:38
  7. Lonesome Tonight” – 5:11
  8. Murder” – 3:55
  9. “Thieves Like Us (Instrumental)” – 6:57
  10. “The Kiss of Death” – 7:02
  11. “Shame of the Nation” – 7:54
  12. 1963” – 5:35

 

Apparently, Nobody Wants to Buy the All-Electric CODA Automotive Sedan for $40K – Layoffs at Benicia “Assembly” Plant?

Friday, July 20th, 2012

I’ll tell you, the process of taking a very tired gasoline-engined Mitsubishi / Volvo economy car and plopping in a battery and an electric motor isn’t going so hot for CODA Automotive.

Get the updates here.

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Nobody’s buying this car.

Nobody’s releasing sales numbers for this car.

But, here you go, have at it and buy one today – I don’t care.

The “Bay Area-Made” Coda Automotive Electric Car Finally Gets Its Big Review in the New York Times – Uh Oh!

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Well, here it is, from the NYT’s Bradley Berman – it’s the big review of the little POS electric car that’s actually made in China but final-assembled in troubled Benicia, way out there in the eastern part of the North Bay.

Here’s your warning that things aren’t going so hot:

“The company even brought its chief executive from China. Coda hired Philip Murtaugh in 2011, a former top executive at the Chinese operations of General Motors and Chrysler. At the 2011 Los Angeles auto show, Mr. Murtaugh expressed concern over the reception for the car’s styling in the American market. First produced nearly about a decade ago, it gives the impression of a knockoff copy of a Y2K Nissan Sentra or Honda Civic. “The vehicle was chosen three years ago,” he told me. “I came in nine months ago. We couldn’t change it.

So, the reason why your state-subsidized vehicle sucks is Somebody Else’s Problem?

And then there’s this, the primary selling feature in some of the Coda ads, the large trunk:

“Yes, the trunk is cavernous, but I would gladly give up three inches of trunk depth for more legroom in the back seat.”

(The reason why the trunk is so big is that the Coda Sedan is actually a two-decade-old Mitsubishi Carisma designed for the European market, which, at the time, was in need of a little car with a big-ass trunk. Things didn’t work out, so the factory was shipped to China. I’m srsly.)

OK. Moving on.

To this:

“…difficult to accept the shortcomings of the Coda at its current price, despite its ability to grant 100 miles on a single charge.”

Yep.

Here it is. Actually it looks more like a 1992 Honda Civic 4-door sedan with giant aftermarket wheels, to my eyes: 

I’ve been telling you about this venture, this unholy alliance of Goldman Sachs execs (the people who brought us the failed WebVan, srsly, the same exact people), assorted federal government hangers-on (bureaucrats who know nothing about cars, electricity, or batteries or whatever), the People’s Republic of China, and other ne’er-do wells, for years now.

And then when the car comes out and its time for the Big Review from the sainted NYT (which had been pretty positive on this issue of this piece of junk), Coda Automotive gets a thumbs down.

Oh well.

That’s not much to show considering all the government subsidies this company is getting.

(And, mind you, this is after they lowered the MSRP down from the originally-planned $45,000(!), as I and host of others (the so-called haters) have been suggesting for a good long time.)

But at least twenty people in Benicia have jobs at the final assembly plant what are paying In-and-Out level wages….