Quote Of The Day: Defining Your Market Edition

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
We’re committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using links in our articles. Learn more here
quote of the day defining your market edition

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.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

More by Edward Niedermeyer

Join the conversation
2 of 7 comments
  • Philadlj Philadlj on Aug 20, 2010

    It's never a good thing when your not-even-on-sale-yet car's styling is compared to that of thr six-year old outgoing Cobalt. But the Coda looks like one of the few cars that would benefit from a front-mounted license plate, as CA requires.

  • Zerofoo Zerofoo on Aug 20, 2010

    Mid 30's to save money on gas? That's crazy. Any number of small fuel efficient cars can be had for $10k to $15k - the difference can buy a lot of gas. Let's be honest. Anyone spending this kind of money on an electric vehicle is doing so to feel good about what they drive, not to save money or the planet. -ted

  • Marty S Corey, thanks for your comment. Mercedes has many different models, and will survive. Jaguar is planning on only offering electric models and will be in trouble. They should continue their ICE models as long as possible, but have discontinued the F-Type already and will probably be discontinuing everything else. We purchased the current XF this year, which is a nice car, but would have been splendid if they had just continued the supercharged V-6 in it.By the way, I have really enjoyed your Continental and Eldorado series. Was just showing it to my barber, who owned several 1954-56 Eldorado convertibles.
  • Marques My father had one of these. A black 1984 Pulsar NX with a 5-speed stick and a grey interior. Dad always kept it in pristine shape-that black paint was shiny even in the middle of the night. I swear I could still smell the Rain Dance carnauba wax! The only issue that car ever had was that it was never driven enough-it would sit for 10 days at a time! The Hitachi carburetor on it(and other Nissans of the time) were known to be troublesome. It went to the boneyard at 72K miles when a hole got punched in the block. By that time the Pulsar had long ceased production.
  • VoGhost This is the only new vehicle I have the slightest interest in.
  • VoGhost I love it. Can't wait to get one. Finally, trucks are becoming actually capable, and it's great for America.
  • Peter Just waiting for Dr. Who to show up with his Tardis, and send these things back to the hellish dark dimension from which they came.