It always sucks to see an innovative company with great ideas go under, and the green energy movement has had its fair share of casualties. But in all honesty, we don’t think anybody is surprised to see electric car maker Coda struggling to make any headway with their Chinese-built EV. With news of more layoffs and dealers slashing prices by 40%, it seems as though the writing is on the wall for Coda.
Like we said, it is sad to see an innovative company go belly-up, but there wasn’t anything particularly innovative about Coda. Using a vehicle body based built by Chang’an Hafei Auto, the Coda sedan is quite frankly one of the least-inspiring looking vehicles, gas or electric, on the market. This Coda concept probably would have met with a much more enthusiastic response. While its 31 kWh battery pack allows for up to 88-miles of driving per charge, the $38,145 sedan is only offered for sale in California, and has been met with delay after delay. Sales were initially slated to begin in late 2010, but the first Coda sedans didn’t leave the assembly line until March of 2012.
Coda also hasn’t been forthcoming about sales figures, though some have suggested that fewer than 100 Coda sedans have been sold since production began ten months ago. With two rounds of layoffs eliminating around 30% of its workforce, including the closure of the “Coda Experience Center” in the Westfield Mall in Century City, California, one Coda dealer slashed nearly $15,000 off of the MSRP of its five remaining Coda sedans. That is what they call a “fire sale” friends, and it is never a good thing.
While we’re not quite ready to write a eulogy for Coda yet, with Nissan slashing the price of its Leaf EV by $6,400 it seems extremely unlikely that Coda will be able to remain competitive with the current pricing model. Their only hope would be a Chinese investor who could bring Coda vehicles to the thriving Chinese car market, though even there EVs have been met with a tepid response.
Without an extended dealer network, and very low visibility even among the EV faithful, it seems like just a matter of time before Coda closes its doors for good.
Source: Green Car Reports