Coda Replaces CEO
The Chinese-American electric car start-up, Coda Automotive, is on the hunt for a new CEO after Kevin Czinger stepped down in what both are calling a “mutual agreement.” As an interim replacement, the COO Steve Heller, will serve as CEO until a new executive candidate is located.
Czinger spent two years at Coda where the company exploded with the help of Czinger’s innate ability to raise investment capital. Czinger previously worked at Goldman Sachs, and while at Coda he worked to build connections between Chinese and American politicians, hoping to bridge the gap between Coda’s production and consumption markets. Chinese investors and government officials are currently backing the battery production facilities of the start-up, which is producing the sedan around a gas powered car already available in China.
More than $125 million flowed into Coda and finally into its research and development and venture stage processes. In due time, the first Coda all-electric sedan finally emerged before its December 2010 release date.
The Sedan, both virtually unknown in the United States, will launch officially in December 2010 with a sticker-shocking price of $45,000. In certain markets and states, that price will be heavily subsidized to $35,000 and less. Residents of Hawaii will enjoy a combination of Federal and State incentives of $12,000 for a more palatable price of $33,000.
Whether or not the Coda Sedan, which will have a range of 120 miles, can compete with the Nissan Leaf and GM Volt has yet to be decided. The General Motor’s Volt and Nissan Leaf have a $5,000 and $12,000 competitive advantage respectively, as well as the marketing power of an established brand.
Perhaps Coda’s biggest advantage is its expensive technology which it claims will solve many of the problems associated with battery powered automobiles. The active thermal management system included in the new sedan will help provide consistent automotive power performance in hot or cold conditions. Both extreme hot and cold environments generate excessive wear and tear on modern electric vehicles. Coda backs its batteries with an eight year, 100,000 mile warranty.
Coda is also banking on simplicity and convenience noting that its new automobile will charge in half the time of its competition thanks to a supercharged 220v charging station.