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EV maker Coda cuts staff, scores poorly on crash test

The California electric carmaker, which has barely sold 100 cars, lays off 50 people.

By AutoWeek Dec 12, 2012 10:38AM

Not much more could go wrong for electric-car maker Coda, which has struggled to sell its four-door EV in the United States since officially launching it here in March. But Web reports, first seen at, say the company laid off 50 employees, or 15 percent of its workforce, last week, mostly in the sales and marketing departments. Efforts by Autoweek to contact Coda have not been successful.

Coda was hit hard when its mostly Chinese-made (Hafei Sabao) sedan scored a low two out of five stars in frontal-impact tests--though it did get five stars in side impact and four stars in rollover tests. A safety-related recall to ensure side curtain airbags deployed properly didn't help either.

At the same time, pricing's kind of steep at close to 40 grand before rebates, though Coda signed an agreement with another Chinese carmaker in April to produce a less-expensive model. Plus, the car's styling is a little on the bland side and its interior needs some work. Word is Coda has sold only 100 cars total.

It's too bad because the basic Coda drivetrain has promise. It features a 31-kWh lithium-iron phosphate battery that the Coda website claims is good for 125 miles on a charge. The EPA says 88 miles and Coda admits most people driving normally will get 100 miles between plug ins.

The 3,670-pound car launches to 60 mph in 9.5 seconds, Coda claims, which is a little slow compared to most cars on the road. Handling was not its strong suit, either. As we said when we tested one, “Might we kindly suggest they put their battery in something else?”

-- Mark Vaughn


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Dec 13, 2012 4:39PM
Coda hired a former GM top sales and marketing executive in January.  I wonder if they're regretting that decison.  
Dec 14, 2012 3:41PM



Do you actually believe that a company's sales and marketing person has nothing to do with his/her company's sales figures?  I beg to differ.


Did you ALSO know that Coda's CEO is a prior GM executive? 


Simple reasoning comes into play here.... It means 2 key positions are held by former GM employees and Coda is failing.  What would you conclude?


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