Amid slow sales, Coda idles 50
Murtaugh: “Realigning and streamlining”
LOS ANGELES -- Coda Automotive, the U.S. assembler of Chinese-made electric vehicles, appears to be facing a cash crunch amid sluggish demand for its $38,000 sedan.
The company has laid off about 50 employees, representing about 15 percent of its work force. The cuts affect workers in all areas of the company, Forrest Beanum, Coda's head of government relations and external affairs, said in a statement.
A company source, who asked not to be named, said key engineers who were working on Coda's next vehicle were among those who lost jobs.
CEO Phil Murtaugh, in a statement, said Coda is "realigning and streamlining the company to better position it to move forward on all fronts."
The Coda sedan is assembled in California from powertrains and partly assembled vehicles made in China by its joint venture with Hafei Motor Co. The vehicle is based on an old Mitsubishi platform.
Coda doesn't disclose sales figures, but just 32 units had been registered in California through August, according to Experian Automotive.
In September, Murtaugh told Automotive News that the company was working to raise more funding from current investors and attract new investors to fulfill its $150 million 2012 equity offering.
According to its most recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in February, Coda had only raised $21.5 million of the $150 million fundraising target. The company has said it has raised more since, but has declined to elaborate.
The company has four dealerships. It had planned to open 10 more by year end and as many as 40 more by next summer, and had 25 letters of intent from dealers to open stores. But no more dealerships have opened.
You can reach Ryan Beene at firstname.lastname@example.org. -- Follow Ryan on