Coda has one experience center open in the Westfield Century City Mall in Los Angeles, where consumers come in with "product specific questions and movement questions," he said. Coda plans to open four more this year: in San Diego, San Francisco, Chicago and the New York-New Jersey area.
Coda's initial retailers are the Marvin K. Brown Auto Center, a multiline dealership in San Diego, and Del Grande Dealer Group, a multiline group in San Jose, Calif. The San Diego store is scheduled to open this month, and the San Jose store follows in March.
A Coda spokeswoman says most dealers will be diversified, which will allow them to survive through the startup period: "The optimum dealer will have multiple points with multiple franchise brands."
Coda is not revealing a total goal for franchises. It will expand beyond its original dealers only when volume permits a second dealer in a market to achieve sufficient sales, the spokeswoman says, and dealers will work under a franchise agreement similar to those of other brands.
Coda appears to have righted itself after several management changes and delays in the retail launch date. Deliveries of the Coda Sedan begin this month, Murtaugh said. The five-passenger Sedan will have a base price of $38,145, including shipping, before the state and federal incentives to buy EVs.
Coda claims an impressive range for the Sedan, with the base model rated at 125 miles. To get 150 miles, customers will pay $40,795, including shipping.
Coda will do final assembly of the Sedan at a plant in Benicia, Calif., in the San Francisco area. The body and battery of the Sedan are manufactured in China by a small automaker, Hafei Motor Co. Coda is producing its batteries through a China-based joint-venture with Lishen Power Battery.
In August, Coda signed an EV-development deal with Chinese automaker Great Wall Motor Co. that could produce additional Coda vehicles for sale in the United States. The spokeswoman says Coda does plan to add to its lineup but is not releasing details.
Murtaugh also said cars are one of three business lines for Coda; the others are battery management systems and electric drivetrains.