Electric Car Maker CODA Files For Bankruptcy

MAY 1 2013 BY JAY COLE 7

Another Bleak Day For A Pretty Bleak looking EV

Another Bleak Day For A Pretty Bleak looking EV

In a move that should come as a surprise to no one following the start-up based out of Los Angeles, CODA Holdings Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy today, in hopes of re-emerging as a new kind of company in 45 days time…one that doesn’t sell electric cars.

“After concluding a comprehensive review of our strategic options, the Board of Directors, management team and senior lending group have concluded that focusing on the Company’s energy storage business presents the best opportunity moving forward,” said Phil Murtaugh, Chief Executive Officer, CODA Holdings, Inc. 

CODA Store in LA Prior to its Closure (Now Operated By Tesla Motors)

CODA Store in LA Prior to its Closure (Now Operated By Tesla Motors)

Despite an assertion last year by CODA’s Chief Executive Officer Phil Murtaugh that CODA had 1,000 customers waiting on cars to be delivered, the company partially backed by former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson managed to sell only about 100, and is now defunct.

In fact, as CODA wound down its operations by re-adjusting estimates and laying off staff, we learned through one of their suppliers, UQM Tech, that the company had actually not produced a single new vehicle since it was initially put on sale, and also did not pay even pay for some of the components (like the propulsion system) from their initial production run.

So, today’s news came as no shock to UQM, who actually took the loss ($3,833,860), by writing off CODA in their last fiscal quarter ahead of the official death certificate being signed.

However, today’s filing in Delaware is not the end of the company, as the company looks to switch to primarily an energy storage company instead of building and selling cars.  CODA hopes to now leverage what they have learned building EVs to now built storage utility solutions…and they have a new backer willing to take the chance they can do it.

“FCO MA CODA Holdings LLC, an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group, is leading a consortium of lenders intending to provide debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing ($25 million) to enable the Company’s energy storage business to remain fully operational during the restructuring process.”  – CODA statement

The CODA Sedan Interior Makes Children Sad

The CODA Sedan’s Interior Makes Children Sad

Late last year, the company had sought to raise $150 million in private investment, but could muster only slightly more than $20 million.

Previously to seeking more private money, CODA looked for $334 million from the DoE under their advanced automotive loan programs.  But unlike Tesla and Fisker, who stuck it out through the winding process, CODA finally just gave up and withdrew its request for assistance in 2012.

The CODA electric sedan had a retail price of $37,250, and was one of the longest range EVs on the market today, with a EPA rating of 88 miles to a charge via a 31 kWh lithium battery.

Like Fisker before it, CODA is now featuring a less than exciting website.  In CODA’s case, all mention of their electric car has vanished, and only their bankruptcy statement remains.


Categories: General


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7 Comments on "Electric Car Maker CODA Files For Bankruptcy"

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This is also the death of the first street legal Chinese manufactured sedan offered for sale in the U.S.!

How many EV start-ups dieing does this make now?

1. Aptera
2. Bright Automotive
3. Think Electric vehicles
4. A123 (batteries only).
5. Coda
6. Fisker (only a matter of time)

Am I missing any? What was the name of the EV startup that was going to use EEstor capacitors?

ZENN Motor. Believe it or not, they just announced another agreement with EEStor!

That’s it! Zenn Motors. Thanks Gwido.

Just goes to show that no matter what kind of company you may be starting, it is hard to be successful without good marketing. Tesla has good marketing. The failed companies do not. I had looked into CODA as it was first started and was intrigued, but hadn’t really heard much from them since. It is hard to buy a product from a company if they won’t let you know if they have a product to sell you.

I don’t think it’s that bad of a looking car. Nothing special, but not ugly. Just plain and simple. It kills me how journalists today think they are the end-all-be-all on looks and style. I’ve never heard of this car, and it’s journalism like the above that makes things like that happen. The caption under the interior photo “makes children sad”. REALLY? If a reviewer doesn’t like it, just say that. No need for twisting the knife once it’s in. That’s what’s sad.

UQM has never been willing to engage the DIY community or small conversion shops. Perhaps they’d now be willing to sell some Coda drives that must be hanging around as surplus?