Coda Automotive withdrew a Department of Energy loan application after two years of waiting. The $334 million loan was supposed to have gone towards establishing an assembly plant in Columbus, Ohio, but for now, production will continue in China.
The plant would have created as many as 2,000 jobs, but the DOE’s stalling means that production will continue overseas. Coda’s Forrest Beanum told Automotive News that
“It became clear to us after the Solyndra debacle that things in Washington as it pertains to this program were becoming quite politicized…Going into an election year, our objective was not to be unnecessarily scrutinized due to politics,” he said. Rather, its goal was to focus on the U.S. launch of its new EV this year, he added.”
Coda final assembly is carried out in California using “glider” chassis assembled in China. Speculating whether Coda would have really added jobs in the Midwest would just be conjecture at this point (Fisker, anyone). It’s encouraging to see Coda looking to add jobs in America, even if, as Ed points out, the car needs some work to be up to American market standards. Maybe their new tie-up with Great Wall will let them build an EV here without government help too.