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….