Posts Tagged ‘u. s.’

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.”


“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


Oh Wow, Here’s the New $100 Bill – See What It Looks Like, Front and Back, Plus Backlit and Under UV Light – It’s Awesome!

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Well, here it is, coming to a drug deal near you, the new $100 bill for 2013 and beyond.

You see, those North Koreans think it’s funny to counterfeit our money and this is the response from the U.S. Treasury.

All right, via, from the front:

Click to expand

Now, see it lit up from the back:

Here’s it lit with ultraviolet  light:

And here it is from the back:

“April 24, 2013

Federal Reserve Announces Day of Issue of Redesigned $100 Note

The Federal Reserve Board on Wednesday announced that the redesigned $100 note will begin circulating on October 8, 2013. This note, which incorporates new security features such as a blue, 3-D security ribbon, will be easier for the public to authenticate but more difficult for counterfeiters to replicate.

The new design for the $100 note was unveiled in 2010, but its introduction was postponed following an unexpected production delay. To ensure a smooth transition to the redesigned note when it begins circulating in October, the U.S. Currency Education Program is reaching out to businesses and consumers around the world to raise awareness about the new design and inform them about how to use its security features. More information about the new design $100 note, as well as training and educational materials, can be found at

For media inquiries, call 202-452-2955.”

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


SFGov Hands a Ticket to US Gov – Isn’t It Ironic? – Now How is Uncle Sam Going to Pay for All Those Unfunded Pensions?

Friday, January 18th, 2013

I’ll tell you, I’ve never seen a DPT meter maid ticket a US Postal Service vehicle.

First Lance Armstrong and now this:

Click to expand

Oh, wait a second, the SFGov meter maid what issued this ticket also has a pension and health care funding issue?

Oh no!

U.S. Supreme Court Sets Prop 8 Date: March 26 – DOMA Challenge Too – Back-to-Back Showdown Over LGBT Civil Rights

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Well here’s the big news, direct from the Office of San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, below.

Via Steve Rhodes – click to expand

“U.S. Supreme Court sets Prop 8 oral argument date for March 26

DOMA challenge scheduled for the next day, setting the stage for back-to-back showdown over LGBT civil rights

SAN FRANCISCO (Jan. 7, 2013) — The U.S. Supreme Court moments ago published its formal argument calendar for March 2013, scheduling oral arguments in the federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8, called Hollingsworth v. Perry, for March 26, beginning at 10:00 a.m. EDT (7:00 a.m. PDT).

Another case that is also related to same-sex marriage rights — a challenge to the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA — will be heard the following day, on March 27, at the same time. That case is called United States v. Windsor.

In granting review to both marquee marriage equality cases exactly one month ago, the nation’s highest court set the stage for potentially landmark rulings on LGBT civil rights that promise to be the most eagerly-anticipated of the current court term. Rulings are expected by the end of June.

The legal issues at stake in the challenge to Prop 8, the controversial 2008 ballot measure that eliminated marriage rights for same-sex partners in California, are two-fold: first, whether the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits the State of California from defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman; and second, whether the proponents of Prop 8 have legal standing to litigate the case.

The American Foundation for Equal Rights filed the lawsuit in May 2009 on behalf two California couples who sought to marry: Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, and Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo. They are represented by lead counsel Theodore B. Olson and David Boies. City Attorney Dennis Herrera intervened as a co-plaintiff in the case in August 2009, renewing San Francisco’s groundbreaking pubic sector legal advocacy for the broader societal interest to end marriage discrimination against lesbian and gay couples. At trial, Herrera and his legal team provided extensive evidence that state and local governments derive significant societal and economic benefits when same-sex partners enjoy equal marriage rights — and, conversely, that denying such rights inflicts grave injustices on the LGBT community that, in turn, harm government and society at large.

When the high court granted review to the case on Dec. 7, 2012, Herrera said: “The federal challenge to Prop 8 represents one of the most significant civil rights cases to be taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court in decades, and I’m confident that the high court will reach a decision that reaffirms our Constitution’s promise of equal protection under the law.”

The U.S. Supreme Court’s argument calendar for March is published online here:

The comprehensive timeline of San Francisco’s legal battle for marriage equality since February 2004 is available on City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s website at:

The Prop 8 case is: Hollingsworth v. Perry, U.S. Supreme Court, Docket No. 12-144.  The DOMA case is: United States v. Windsor, U.S. Supreme Court, Docket No. 12-307.”

Tink happy tots…

DJH and company, 2008, Civic Center:

Click to expand

California Senator Diane Feinstein Defines this Simple Police-Issue Handgun as an “Assault Weapon” – She’s Wrong

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

She’s wrong ’cause the SFPD’s handguns from SIG-Sauer (and others similar) are simple handguns and are not assault weapons.

Here’s the proof. Let’s say this SFPD officer drew his Grateful Dead-stickered gun before arresting somebody. People would say that the cop drew his gun or pointed his handgun at the suspect, something like that.


Click to expand

People would not say that the cop drew an “assault weapon,” would they?


Ergo, the simple police-issue handguns carried by the SFPD are not assault weapons even though they’d be covered under DiFi’s assault weapons ban legislation.

Oh what’s that, Gentle Reader, you object? Well, sustained. I’ll concede your point, whatever it is.

But my point is that the simple police-issue handguns carried by the SFPD are not assault weapons even though they’d be covered under DiFi’s assault weapons ban legislation.

Perhaps she should call it the Assault Weapons and Simple Handguns Bill instead?


I now shall exit your Orwellian sausage factory, you know, to head on back to the real world.

But first, here’s what an actual SFPD-issued assault weapon looks like:

Just saying.


All the deets:

“In January, Senator Feinstein will introduce a bill to stop the sale, transfer, importation and manufacturing of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition feeding devises.

Following is a summary of the 2013 legislation:

  • Bans the sale, transfer, importation, or manufacturing of:
  • 120 specifically-named firearms
  • Certain other semiautomatic rifles, handguns, shotguns that can accept a detachable magazine and have one military characteristic
  • Semiautomatic rifles and handguns with a fixed magazine that can accept more than 10 rounds
  • Strengthens the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban and various state bans by:
  • Moving from a 2-characteristic test to a 1-characteristic test
  • Eliminating the easy-to-remove bayonet mounts and flash suppressors from the characteristics test
  • Banning firearms with “thumbhole stocks” and “bullet buttons” to address attempts to “work around” prior bans
  • Bans large-capacity ammunition feeding devices capable of accepting more than 10 rounds.
  • Protects legitimate hunters and the rights of existing gun owners by:
  • Grandfathering weapons legally possessed on the date of enactment
  • Exempting over 900 specifically-named weapons used for hunting or sporting purposes and
  • Exempting antique, manually-operated, and permanently disabled weapons
  • Requires that grandfathered weapons be registered under the National Firearms Act, to include:
  • Background check of owner and any transferee;
  • Type and serial number of the firearm;
  • Positive identification, including photograph and fingerprint;
  • Certification from local law enforcement of identity and that possession would not violate State or local law; and
  • Dedicated funding for ATF to implement registration

A pdf of the bill summary is available here.

D5 Supervisor Candidate Julian Davis to Star at Sunday Streets Western Addition, September 9th, 2012, 11AM to 4PM

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

I mean, I assume.

Leave us review:

If you voted for Ed Lee for Mayor, your choice for the next D5 Supervisor is London Breed.*

OTOH, if you voted against Ed Lee for Mayor, your choice for the next D5 Supervisor is Julian Davis. Throw in a couple other choices if you want, but make sure neither one is London Breed or Interim Supervisor and Total Sellout Christine Olague. (Or should I say Christine “8 Washington” Olague? Or should I say Christine “Perjurer Accomplice” Olague?)

Easy Peasy.

Come out and say hi to Julian, I’m sure he’ll be there, this Sunday:

Click to expand – it’ll become legible

Hey, is PG&E a “Sponsor” of this event, on September 9th, 2012, the two year anniversary of PG&E’s San Bruno Pipeline Explosion, the one that killed eight souls? I think so.

(I wish San Francisco had just an average kind of utility monopoly instead of motherfucking PG&E. Speaking of which,  a while back they inquired about how much it would cost to advertise some PR campaign on this tiny blog. I was like GTFO – I ignored it. Interestingly, presented with a similar offer, the San Francisco Bay Guardian said bring it, and so then PGE’s signature blue banner ads started appearing at, I’m seriously. Ah memories. )

Anyway, see you at Sunday Streets Western Addition 2012.

*I’m sure he’d be delighted to have her on board. Now, she’s a little PO’ed these days about how she kind of got screwed over by Interim Mayor Ed Lee earlier this year, oh and by Willie Brown and Rose Pak and all, but  I’m sure Mayor Lee and his minders would adapt to London’s election swimmingly. (Of course Ed Lie said he would stay out of this particular race and of course now he’s now picking sides in D5, you know, just a few months later, but he also said he wouldn’t run for Mayor. In fact that’s why he became Interim Mayor, based on that other promise. Hence the sobriquet Ed Lie.) Anyway, Republican billionaire Ron Conway threw her a few bucks a little while ago – that’s telling, IMO. Oh, and DiFi just endorsed her, and you can’t get any more Establishment than DiFi I don’t think. 

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….

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.

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.

What Giant American Flags Mean at Car Dealerships Today, and What They Meant Two Decades Ago

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

I’ll start with the easy one. Way back in the 1990’s, 1991 specifically, giant U.S. flags started popping up at American car dealerships all over the country.

They were designed to remind you to Buy American. (Although even at the time, many “American vehicles” were made in Canada, or from overseas.)

It didn’t really work so hot, so most of those flags, in front of your Oldsmobile,* Plymouth,* and Saturn* dealerships for example, went away.

And these days? Well, I don’t know, really.

As seen on Van Ness, formerly known as Auto Row:

Click to expand

Maybe this giant flag means that an American car dealership used to be here.

I think it was a Ford store with lots and lots of Added Dealer Markup…

Oh well.

*A kind of car, back in the old days.