Coda to Boost Production of Electric Sedan in 2013
"March through July was a soft launch—new car, new company, new manufacturing process, new everything," Coda CEO Phil Murtaugh stated in a recent interview at Coda's California headquarters. "Now, as we get into real production ramp-up, we need to add some dealers."
That's Coda's take on why only 100 electric Sedan have been sold since the launch in March of 2012. Coda's goal though is to grab at least 15 percent of the non-luxury electric vehicle segment, according to Murtaugh. That could be a tall order for the Coda sedan, which consistently gets low marks for ride quality.
Though its real-world range consistently surpasses 100 miles, the Coda Sedan costs a hefty $37,250 before the $7,500 federal tax credit. The Coda Sedan isn't nearly as refined as the Nissan LEAF, nor does it offer the backing of an established brand such as Ford or Chevrolet.
Regardless, CEO Murtaugh sees potential for steady, gradual growth. As Murtaugh stated, "Two years ago, there was excessive euphoria about the potential for electric vehicles. Now it's swung the other way to excessive pessimism. The reality is there's going to be steady, gradual growth." Murtaugh assigns the shift to a more pessimistic outlook to the entire EV category, yet there has been steady growth in plug-in vehicles, mostly carried by the Chevy Volt and Prius Plug-in Hybrid. It's not surprising that Coda, in particular, would have a more somber view after its big build-up after the past couple of years was followed by meager sales and a safety recall after delivering just 78 vehicles. Reports of poor dealership execution have also been reported.
Coda is nowhere close to giving up. The company claims to have at least 1,000 outstanding orders for its electric Sedan and is working to establish its initial 30-dealer network. Coda says 20 additional dealers will be added and that sales of the Sedan will expand to areas outside of California starting in 2013.
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