Exclusive Video: CODA's New Interim CEO is Optimistic About the Company's Future

By · November 23, 2010

CODA Sedan

Startup electric car company CODA has been having a bit of a rocky ride recently. Though the outside world has largely determined that the resignation of both their global sales chief and their CEO, as well as the postponement of consumer deliveries of their first vehicle until late 2011, are indicative of an implosion, the company put on a different face at the 2010 LA Auto Show.

Steven "Mac" Heller, CODA's new interim CEO, and I had a chance on the sidelines of the show to catch up and talk about what he brings to the company, where the company is headed, and the status of loans and investment funding potentially in the pipeline. In great contrast to what most of the automotive world is churning up about CODA these days, the CODA team was very optimistic and downright cheery about what they're calling a transition from the R&D phase into a marketing phase.

CODA Sedan

Citing the fact that many technology startups, and even other electric car startups, have gone through similarly rocky transitions and emerged stronger for it, Mac Heller thinks that CODA is in a solid position to grow and convince the consumers that care about electric cars that the CODA Sedan is where it's at. Even so, as Heller hints at in the video below, startup companies live and die by the funding that comes through their doors—and CODA is no different. Although the company has already raised more than a hundred million dollars, they are in the midst raising an additional $125 million in private investment for a series D round of funding as well as "waiting by the phone" to hear about a government loan for an undisclosed amount—likely $400-500 million. More than anything else, the results of these two endeavors will likely determine the future success of CODA.

Nick Chambers of PluginCars.com talks with CODA's new interim CEO, Steven "Mac" Heller, on the sidelines of the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show.

What do you think? Does CODA have a fighting chance? Does it seem like their current strategy hinges on the fact that for the first year or two demand for EVs will outstrip supply and people will buy CODA sedans simply because they can't get their hands on anything else? What does that mean for the success of CODA beyond that timeframe? So many questions that really only time will answer. As with all the EV startups I truly hope they can make it, but it's looking a bit murky as to how they can get there.

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