The core consumers would be interested in technology and kind of early adopters
Coda Automotive senior VP for sales and distribution Mike Jackson (yes, the former GM marketing whiz) describes the market for his firm’s forthcoming electric car. So what is Jackson’s “kind-of-early-adopter” Californian consumer looking to get out of the Coda? A redesigned Mitsubishi platform, built and bodied in China for one thing. Chinese lithium-ion batteries delivering “90-120″ miles of range, and guaranteed for eight years or 100k miles (3 years, or 36k miles for everything else) for another. 134 HP and 221 lb-ft, good for a top speed of 80 MPH. An 8-inch navigation screen with real-time traffic updates. And for you, they’ll throw in 17-inch alloy wheels. But the Coda EV’s most striking feature (at least in terms of appealing to tech-oriented Californians) is best summed up in the measured prose of AutoWeek
It has fairly bland, universal styling and is roughly the size of a Chevrolet Cobalt.
Holy unfortunate comparisons, Batman!
Previously we’d heard that the Coda would cost $45k when it arrives stateside. Now, however, AW reports that
The ambitious goal is to sell 14,000 Codas next year with a sticker in the mid-$30,000 range after the $7,500 federal tax credit and other potential incentives.
If we assume “mid-$30k range” to be $35k, that means the Coda is still at least $1,000 more expensive than the none-too-cheap (but range-extended) Volt. If the “other potential incentives” includes California’s $5k Clean Vehicle Rebate, the $45k number may have been on the low side. For comparison, after the federal credit and the California rebate, the Nissan Leaf should cost about $20,000. And though Coda talks the talk about “American Innovation,” their EV is still a Mitsubishi-based Chinese sedan.
If Coda sells 14k units next year, Chevy will be wishing they had increased the Volt’s production level… and price. But it’s not hard to guess what will happen to Coda in 2012, when Nissan and GM ramp up production and Ford enters the market. They’ll snag a few suckers along the way, but someone obviously still needs to tell Coda’s execs that most Americans would have a tough time paying $45k for anything made in China.