Chinese Cars? CODA Wants To Be First

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
chinese cars coda wants to be first

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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6 of 9 comments
  • Cmoibenlepro Cmoibenlepro on Mar 02, 2011

    Bertel, why did you write America with a 'k' ?

    • See 1 previous
    • Bertel Schmitt Bertel Schmitt on Mar 02, 2011

      Herr Schmitt has U.S. English and German languages enabled on his Word, and sometimes, the autokorrekt kan get konfused.

  • West-coaster West-coaster on Mar 02, 2011

    I saw this car at the Alt Car Expo in Santa Monica last year. It looked interesting, until I saw the price. Seriously??? It was sitting inside the hall looking kind of plain and uninteresting, especially when the Nissan Leaf was outside zipping around the parking lot, with people lined up for test drives, and priced ten grand less.

  • MrWhopee MrWhopee on Mar 02, 2011

    I think that Mr. Murtaugh is delusional. Absolutely delusional. Maybe for $15,000, even then it probably won't sell in big numbers. BTW, Mr. Murtaugh, if you're reading this, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell...

  • Blowfish Blowfish on Mar 02, 2011

    I can’t wait to see the crash test footage… who sang the song " great balls of fire" , jerry lee Lewis? U need this song to enhance the effect. At this price is not going to last or is going to fly off the shelf or sold like hot cakes.