By on March 2, 2011

For years. American and Chinese companies have talked about bringing Chinese cars to America. So far, a lot of talk, little action. Even perennial announcer BYD has not progressed beyond the test phase. Santa Monica’s CODA wants to be the first one. Honestly now.

According to NPR, CODA plans to sell a Made in China electric four-door sedan in the second half of the year. CODA expects to sell 10,000 to 14,000 vehicles in its first 12 months.

The car is based on a conventional vehicle made by Chang’an Hafei Auto, a subsidiary of Chang’an Auto Co.  The car is adapted to electric drive and outfitted with batteries manufactured in a joint venture with Tianjin LiShen Miles Power Battery Systems Co.

In a telling characterization of the state of the EV market, CODA’s CEO, Philip F. Murtaugh  said:

“We won’t be perfect but we will certainly be class-leading.”

Murtaugh is a former chairman of General Motors China who joined CODA last month.

CODA’s sedan will retail for $44,900, or $32,400 after a $7,500 federal tax credit and a $5,000 state government credit,  Forrest Beanum, CODA’s vice president for communications told NPR. What ever happened to those dirt cheap Chinese cars that will wreak havoc in the American market?

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