Coda Withdraws DOE Loan Request, Will Build Overseas

By · April 30, 2012

Coda Sedan

As the DOE continues to delay its loan process, more automakers have either backed out of producing advanced technology vehicles in the US or decided to turn their attention to assembling automobiles in foreign countries.

Late last week, Coda Automotive announced that it withdrew its $334 million loan request to the US Department of Energy. Coda says that its loan application was stuck in a "holding pattern" for two years, and that it couldn't wait any longer, after a two-year delay in a response to its request.

Technically, Coda withdrew its request in March, but the automaker waited approximately one month to make its actions public.

Now that Coda is clear of DOE-backing, it's free to develop and manufacture vehicles in any country it sees fit. Forrest Beanum, Coda's senior vice-president of government affairs, told Automotive News, "We just needed to continue operations overseas to meet our business plan." The Coda Sedan will continue to be sub-assembled in China before it ships to the US for final assembly. It now seems likely that future Coda vehicles will also be fully built overseas.

The start-up automaker had hoped to use DOE funds to construct a vehicle and battery assembly site in Columbus, Ohio, creating up to 2,000 jobs in the process. However, the DOE's lack of action means that Coda had to scrap those plans and will now most likely employ additional workers overseas.

The DOE's slow response has led to the demise of Bright Automotive —
making it even more difficult for start-up EV makers to survive — and pushing back plans from major automakers (such as Chrysler) to produce advanced technology vehicles. Fisker was also delayed by the DOE's reluctance to make a loan decision.

As the DOE continues to delay the process, more and more automakers either back out of producing advanced technology vehicles in the US — or turn their attention to other countries more amenable to supporting the plug-in future of the automobile.


· chris edmister jr (not verified) · 6 years ago

im no longer a supporter of coda. if i have my facts right this company got their start in the usa. now they're moving away thanks for taking jobs. i drive a cab and any time a conversation came up about electric cars i would throw your name out there and the website or facebook page some times i would even pull it up on my phone to show. not any more if ya take this company over seas. i wont even buy your cars for a dollar. ill stay riding my electric bike i built.

· 9691 (not verified) · 6 years ago

@Chris. Chris you can be as disappointed as you see fit. There is no way a wait of 2 years can be reasonable. Why aren't you disappointed of the DOE instead?

· · 6 years ago

The DoE did the right thing. Coda is an epic fail. Final assembly in the U.S. of a Chinese car (from the 1980's) is a sham.

· · 6 years ago

@indyflick - I agree. Why would anyone buy the Coda. It offers nothing unique for the price. And the worse part is it's styling. Sheet metal is the easiest part of a car to change.

No one wants a EV that looks like a Corolla from the 90's.

· · 6 years ago

indyflick and theflew if you are not trolls, than you have some sort of ax to grind, maybe you two need a long vacation together to decompress. I know the Coda up close, and it's a great car. The thing you say is an epic fail is the same thing me and my wife argue over who gets to drive, first thing each morning. Which we've never done with any of our cars in 17 years of marriage. I am not a fan of the styling of the Leaf or the Priii. And I've had a couple of Mbenzes and a couple of BMW's and an Infiniti or two, but driving it day and day out-- this Coda has the most amazing power delivery of any car I have ever driven. That is not sham. Is it flashy? No. But it is the only electric sedan available today thats not over 100k. And in person looks much better than the pics would suggest-- handsome even, for a small car. The interior is somewhat spartan, but purposeful. The leather with the baseball stitching is elegant without being ostentatious. And my powering of this electric car by my solar panels is nowhere close to sham. Since my panels make more electricity than I use, the Coda fuel is free. Sham may be in the other direction.

· TYL (not verified) · 6 years ago

I installed solar panesl on the roof facing the back my house. I don't need to show off that I'm "green". I ordered a CODA because going electric is the right thing to do, nobody needs to know that. When I get the car later this year (I reserved a 36KWH version), it will be used for daily commute to my office. Why do I need a Lotus, sorry I mean Tesla, for that? The CODA has everything its more expensive brothers have - a safe construction, good battery range, air-conditioning, oh yes, and seats. That is all I need.

· Michael B. (not verified) · 5 years ago

Del S.: I am seriously considering the Coda and may pick one up this coming weekend. Do you expect the American (California) assembled cars to be much better than the Chinese version? Any other comments before I lay my money on the line?

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