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Coda Coming Unplugged

Most staff already gone, battery-car company selling off premier store.

by on Mar.04, 2013

It's now sink or swim time for Coda.

Most of its staff have already been dismissed and now start-up battery-car maker Coda Automotive is closing its flagship showroom, raising questions about whether Coda can hang on much longer without finding a new buyer or some big-buck investors.

Coda, which has been marketing a stripped-down electric vehicle imported from China, had already raised an estimated $200 million in capital raised from such high-profile investors as former U.S. Treasury Hank Paulson — some of whom may now be taking the company to court.

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After a year on the market, sales have barely climbed into the 100s, despite the fledgling carmaker’s claims to deliver more range than almost any other electric vehicle on the U.S. market.

Ironically, according to reports from Los Angeles, where the maker is based, Coda’s store in the busy and exclusive Westfield Century City mall will soon be taken over by its competitor, Tesla Motors.


Massive Cuts at Coda Automotive

Maker trims 15% of workforce as sales lag.

by on Dec.12, 2012

Sink or swim time for Coda?

With sales lagging far behind initial expectations, Coda Automotive has slashed 15% of its U.S. workforce, though it insists it “remain(s) committed” to the nascent market for battery-electric vehicles.

Coda is just one of many manufacturers finding it tough going as American motorists warm up to battery-based technologies at a significantly slower pace than proponents had projected.  The California-based maker, in particular, has sold barely 100 of its Chinese-made battery-electric vehicles so far.

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“CODA has released approximately 50 employees or 15% of our workforce across all functions to streamline our operations and right-size the Company,” a statement issued by Senior Vice President Forrest Beanum confirmed. “The Company is taking this action to better position our business going forward. We remain committed to the continued development and distribution of our products.”


Former GM China Chief Murtaugh Jumps to Battery Start-Up CODA

Latest senior industry exec to push into new technology.

by on Jan.24, 2011

New CODA CEO Phil Murtaugh, shown here while GM's China boss.

Phil Murtaugh, a name long associated with the emergence of the booming Chinese automotive market, will be testing his skills in another emerging automotive market.

Murtaugh, who helped put in motion General Motors’ commanding presence in the Asian nation before signing on with Chrysler’s Chinese venture, will be moving to California to serve as the chief executive officer of the electric vehicle manufactuer CODA Holdings.

“We are thrilled to have Phil guide our team into its next stage of rapid growth in power battery systems and electric vehicles,” said Mac Heller, CODA’s Executive Chairman. “Phil is an industry veteran with large scale manufacturing, sales and marketing experience who has the precise combination of skills necessary to lead CODA’s mission to transform the auto industry by accelerating the adoption of clean, zero emissions technology.”

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Murtaugh landed in China in 1996, when the potential for significant growth was, at best, controversial, and former General Motors Chairman Jack Smith was taking fire for his decision to invest in a country that had far more bicycles than automobiles.  Through 2000, Murtaugh served as Executive Vice President of Shanghai GM, and then, from 2000 to 2005, as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GM China, overseeing a growing list of GM joint ventures.


CODA Aims To Reinvent Auto Retailing With New EV

Battery sedan will be marketed online, says California firm.

by on Sep.22, 2010

The new Coda sedan will generate 120 miles range per charge of its LIon batteries.

CODA Automotive, a California-based, a fledgling electric car and battery company, is taking deposits for a new four-door, five-passenger, battery-electric sedan.  But don’t run out looking for a dealer.  The start-up automaker is rethinking the classic automotive retail system, starting with an online ordering system.

“We are excited to begin offering our friends and neighbors a vehicle that meets their day-to-day driving needs, reduces their ownership costs and satisfies their desire to be better stewards of the environment,” said Kevin Czinger, President and CEO, CODA Automotive

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Consumers can now reserve a CODA with a fully-refundable $499 deposit at The first deliveries will begin at the end of 2010, company officials said.

Powered by a 33.8 kWh, 333V Lithium-ion electric car battery system, the eponymous CODA sedan will be capable of 90 to 120 miles range per charge.