CODA Cuts Staff Again. Is The End Near?

JAN 7 2013 BY STAFF 8

On paper, the CODA all electric sedan stacks up against the competition fairly well.  It has 88 miles of EPA range for $37,250.  On a dollar per electric mile basis, it is actually the best value out there.

CODA Sedan Interior

Then you see it. 

The CODA is not visually appealing.  Which is not surprising, considering it is based off a Mitsubishi Lancer chassis developed in the 90s.

Then you ride in it. 

And as Insideline found out; not that great an experience.  Low-tech interior, poor breaking, sluggish off the line, noisy interior (which is tricky to accomplish in an EV).

As for safety?  We didn’t even know it was still possible to get two stars from the NHSTA for frontal impact.  Yet, they did that too.

All these factors translated to disasterous sales, and lead CODA to “right size” their company about 4 weeks ago by letting go some of their work force.  Senior Vice-President of Government Relations & External Affairs, Forrest Beanum said at the time:

“CODA has released approximately 50 employees or 15% of our workforce across all functions to streamline our operations and right-size the Company. The Company is taking this action to better position our business going forward. We remain committed to the continued development and distribution of our products.”

Driving Dummy Enjoys The Benefit Of A 2 Star Front Impact Rating


Unfortunately, it turns out that was only the right size for about a month, as CODA as put another chunk of its remaining 270-odd employees on furlough.  A representative of the company said they expected the layoffs to last at least 3 months.



CODA’s official statement on the recent layoffs:

“On Friday, January 4th CODA furloughed a number of employees as the Company takes necessary action to bolster its financing and better position the business going forward.

The Company has kept in place a sufficient number of staff to keep the Company operational and remains committed to the continued development and distribution of its products. During this period, CODA will continue to provide service to its dealers and customers.

While unfortunate, we are confident this temporary action will allow the Company to strategically direct resources towards critical operations and put the Company on a more sustainable path.”

Comparing the statement this week, and the one from last month, it is seems fairly obvious that CODA has moved away from the pretense of being a viable entity with a strong future, and is now simply attempting to keep its doors open as long as it can.

Just as a refresher on the CODA sedan, here is a video review of the car by Autoguide that we find to be well-balanced :

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8 Comments on "CODA Cuts Staff Again. Is The End Near?"

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I’m sorry, now that it’s 2013, it doesn’t look like a 10 year old car, it looks like an 11 year old one….


When the new Leaf comes out in a couple days it is going to take whatever is left of Coda I believe.

And starting at $32k, it won’t be that hard to do…

I went to the Century City mall in Los Angeles two weeks ago to charge my Volt at one of Coda’s charging stations. This was supposed to be their premier storefront location and all the chargers were removed and the Coda store was packing up and supposedly moving.

…maybe it is just on furlough

I predicted this a while back, for much of the same reason pointed out by the article. If it were the only EV on the market, it might stand a chance. But when you can buy a Leaf or Volt for less money, there is just no comparison. And while I’d like to see all EV companies succeed, if we must lose one EV company, I’d rather it be Coda.

Not only that, but the Volt and the Leaf are made by well-known and largely trusted OEMs, not a new startup like Code or Tesla. I would much rather see Code go than Tesla.

Good car for China. They can keep it in China.