Somehow, it still makes sense to get our cars from high-cost Japan.
Cars roll on this ugly Chronus Leader ship in Japan and roll off in the east bay or the north bay.
T’was ever thus.
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
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.
Then, in 2008, we were promised the Miles XS500. That was going to come in 2009. It didn’t. Check it:
Then, in 2009, we were promised the Coda Automotive Sedan. That was going to come in 2010. It didn’t. Check it:
And on and on.
Coda’s investors include:
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….
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.
Click to expand
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.
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.
“…difficult to accept the shortcomings of the Coda at its current price, despite its ability to grant 100 miles on a single charge.”
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.
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….
Well I guess this weird taxicab is a Ford, sort of.
Anyway, it has lots of windows so you won’t feel too much like cargo on your way to SFO in the back of a cargo van:
Click to expand
Learn all about the vagaries of international bidness, including the world-famous, anti-consumer 1963 Chicken Tax and how it affects us today, right here.
Ah, let’s check in with Goldman Sachs-backed CODA AUTOMOTIVE.
1. OK, has the Wikipedia entry been scrubbed of any negative information? You, Gentle Reader, make the call. (The context is that the battery capacity and range claims made these past months and years aren’t coming true but there’s no mention of these things in Wiki, oh well. Wiki’s good for Coda though, cause their people can just pop on in and change things to erase history.)
3. But now come the long-promised “green jobs” to the North Bay region of the Bay Area. What was the promise, that there’d be 50 to start and 200 soon thereafter? Well, take a look at the help wanted pages, below. A couple-dozen people slapping a direct-from-China battery into a direct-from-China car does not an American car factory make, right people?
Anywho, Gentle Reader, if you want to get up to speed on the crappiest, broken-promisest electric car company in the world, click here and keep reading.
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?
Oh, back to Coda now.
A full-time position is available, with immediate effect, for a Production Manager.
ABOUT CODA AUTOMOTIVE:
Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, CODA Holdings is a leading developer of advanced Lithium-ion power battery systems comprised of three key divisions: CODA Automotive, CODA EV Propulsion Systems and CODA Energy. Together with its JV partners, CODA is working to reduce dependence on oil and leading the way to a cleaner future through its electric vehicles and stationary energy storage products. With segment leading range, the CODA vehicle is a zero emission four-door, five-passenger sedan with a full-size trunk that is designed to meet American drivers’ daily transportation needs. For more information on the CODA, visit www.codaautomotive.com.
JOB DESCRIPTION: The Production Manager will be located in Benicia, CA. and will manage the final assembly process. The position will be responsible for managing a dynamic repair process that in NOT paced by a conveyor line.
• Inventory control – Manage & replenish all planned components and supporting repair parts
• Develop Process Sheets for Assembly Processes and Repair processes
• Communicate and elevate quality issues to China Assembly, Engineering, Supply Chain and the field service organizations
• React quickly to Field Service Customer issues and institute immediate countermeasures
• Oversee the Contract Assembler Financial invoices and verify correct charges
• Proactively work with the Contract Assembler to continuously improve quality, velocity of units through the process and reduce the total costs
• Supervise 2 Salary employees and indirectly manage 20 contract assemblers
• Manage Vehicle inventory and the process flow
• Contribute, Lead and instigate team problem solving at all levels
• Constant training for all team members to ensure assembly and repair proficiency
Challenge Contract assembly company for continuous improvement in Quality, Through-put and Cost reduction.
Desired Skills & Experience
• Bachelors Degree: Technical or Business, preferred
• Automotive Floor leadership experience. required
• Strong leadership skills
• Dynamic and engaging communication style
• Manages ambiguity well – must be able to find a process in an asynchronous flow
• Excellent Problem Solver
• Strong Financial Acumen
• Experienced trainer of teams
• Lean manufacturing and team style of manufacturing processes and culture
Please submit your cover letter with salary requirements and resume via our corporate website.
Kindly respect our recruitment process and do not use any other method to apply. Thank you in advance for your attention to this important detail. Only qualified candidates will be contacted for preliminary interviews.
Job Location: Los Angeles, California
Company URL: http://www.CODAautomotive.com
CODA Automotive is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer
The policy and practice of CODA Automotive require that entry into employment and progression within employment will be determined only by personal merit and the application of criteria which are related to the duties of each particular job. Subject to statutory provisions, no applicant or member of staff will be treated less favorably than another because of his or her gender, marital or civil partnership status, sexual orientation, religion or belief, racial group, age or disability. In all cases, ability to perform the job will be the primary consideration.
TO ALL RECRUITMENT AGENCIES:
CODA Automotive does not accept agency resumes. Please do not forward resumes to our jobs alias, CODA Automotive employees, or any other company location. CODA Automotive is not responsible for any fees related to unsolicited resumes.
Coda Automotive is a manufacturer and distributor of all-electric, zero-emissions cars and battery transportation systems. Formed under the stewardship of entrepreneur Miles Rubin (known for his marketing and sales of neighborhood electric fleet vehicles under the Miles Electric Vehicles brand) in 2009, Coda engineers, brands, markets and distributes electric vehicles. The company’s manufacturing partnership strategy allows Coda to avoid the traditionally capital-intensive nature of the automobile business. Coda Automotive’s first vehicle, highway commuter sedan, is now being delivered to California consumers.”
But how efficient is it compared to a modern car, I don’t know, maybe something like the Nissan Leaf?
The first stat here is for MPGe – the Leaf does about 35% better on that score. And the second stat is for kilowatt-hours/100 miles – the lower the better on this one, so of course the CODA Sedan is higher.
Now the people at CODA have been trying to get the cost down from $45k for a while now so the Sedan is coming out with a lower price, but both varieties of Coda’s cars are still more expensive than a thoroughly modern vehicle from a manufacturer what knows what it’s doing like, I don’t know, the Leaf and Nissan?
CODA Automotive is like WebVan and Solyndra combined.
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.
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.
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?
First off, the fit and finish are excellent
and it looks really nice.
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.
Handling is responsive with no lag between turning the wheel and direction changes.
WOW! IT TURNS LEFT _AND_ RIGHT!
Acceleration is good,
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,
a low cost of ownership,
excellent all-electric range,
while packaging all this in a nicely appointed sedan.
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.