By on June 1, 2010

Coda Automotive may not be claiming to have paid back the US government, but this video [via greencarreports] sure is one of the more misleading spots we’ve seen in a while. The term “all-American innovation” probably does great with focus groups, but it’s hardly an accurate description for a rolling-chassis Chinese sedan with some Chinese-made (unless the DOE gives Coda a loan for US cell manufacturing) lithium-ion cells bunged into it somewhere in California. Likewise, the fact that internal combustion engines operate at relatively low efficiency is fascinating, but it’s hardly relevant to potential customers. Especially considering this Coda EV is likely to cost about $45k before tax breaks. At that price point, a Chinese-market sedan should run at 110 percent efficiency, and be powered by melted-down AMG tires. And its makers should still have the decency to admit that, like so much in life, we’re entirely dependent on the Chinese to actually build the damn thing.

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7 Comments on “Coda Automotive: The Epitome Of All-American Innovation (Made In China)...”

  • avatar

    Relying on the Chinese to build everything IS the epitome of All-American Innovation. Credit default swaps is another.

  • avatar

    I like (read: am annoyed) how they apparently misunderstood the meaning of the word “coda” and are now calling their misunderstanding “the official definition”.

  • avatar

    That is an excellent ad; it actually tells you something about the car, unlike the ones which show the vehicle driving through autumn leaves.

    I object to two words: “global warming”. [Cue the quasi-scientific political discussion.] They could have just said “pollution”, which is less controversial unless we argue about the power plant.

    And “American suppliers” are not the same as “American innovation”. Suppliers may or may not co-develop with you, but usually they just build components to your specifications.

    Now they need to include things like price (ha!), availability date, and service network to provide buying confidence.

    Maybe GM should license and rebadge the car as a Buick and sell it in China. Coda won’t sell many in the US, and the “Buick” name is a certain winner in China.

    • 0 avatar

      “Maybe GM should rebadge the car as a Buick and sell it in China. Coda won’t sell many in the US, and the “Buick” name is a certain winner in China.”

      Not sure which car you’re talking about. But GM is already said have plans to sell a version of the Chevy Volt as a Buick in China

      Don’t think GM has much to do with Coda, though.

    • 0 avatar

      @doug: I’ve added the words “license and” to my comment. Clearly GM and Coda are unrelated entities (I think). Mine was just an off-the-wall comment about who can sell what, and where.

  • avatar

    This is probably the way many cars will be “built” in the future, boutique shops assembling cars from many parts made by other suppliers.. Magna may end doing the same thing. The rolling sliders from China may be very inexpensive.

    What does a modern manufacturer build?.. they stamp the parts from steel sheets, weld them together using robots and then paint it.. usually build their own ICE and source the rest of the parts from external suppliers. Hopefully they stay away from toyota throttle pedal assemblies :)

  • avatar

    There is nothing new or innovative about the Coda. It is still a combustible engine design with an electric motor stuck in it just like the Tesla (which is actually a lotus). In order to build an electric automobile you have to change the way you think. Think of it this way, if you stuck a jet engine onto an airplane that is designed for a propeller, what do you think would happen. The same principle applies with the gasoline engine and the electric motor design. I am involved with a company that has such a car. Not only is the range between charges 300 miles, it will only take 15 min. to fully charge. The motor has 1,000 foot lbs of torque with 300 hp. It will sell between $18,000 to $25,000 out the door and will be built by Americans. The entire design of the car is like nothing on the road today. We plan to put Americans back to work and not outsource to China. We will have the balance of the funds to build the car in early 2012. The target date to offer our car to the public is late November or early December of 2012. You can write to me at [email protected] and I will keep you posted on our progress.

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