Coda Automotive Inc. is on life support after having only sold perhaps a total of a hundred of their Chinese supplied electric cars to the Los Angeles based privately owned auto company. Green Car Reports posted two interesting articles showing the desperation at CODA. The first article reported that the company closed their flagship showroom at the Westfield Century City Mall in Southern California. The second article reported that the CODA dealership in the San Francisco Bay Area has massively discounted the few remaining CODA’s in stock.
I called the Northern California dealership on Tuesday and they had a lone blue-black CODA in stock and after they sell this car they are closing the CODA showroom that is located in Santa Clara. The good news for you the tax payer is all of CODA’s losses will be bared by private investors as this is one case where Obama did not provide DOE funding. I doubt the decision not to fund CODA was because the DOE was suddenly brilliant in its analysis of CODA’s business plan but simply because the folks behind CODA were not bundlers for the president. In fact, some of the private money invested in CODA came from Hank Paulson the secretary of the treasury under George W. Bush.
It is interesting that John Bryson the commerce secretary under Barak H. Obama is also an investor in CODA. John was a director of Boeing and we know how Lithium Ion batteries have caused the grounding of the entire fleet of Dreamliners. Lithium was not good for CODA and Boeing but it may be needed by the pundits who thought the Sino-US tie up in CODA would be the wave of the future in automobiles. One such pundit was Thomas Freidman who is the “futurist” at the New York Times. In December 2009 Friedman wrote:
“The Coda, 14,000 of which will be on the road in California over the next year and can travel 100 miles on one overnight charge, is a combination of Chinese-made batteries and complex American-system electronics — all final-assembled in Oakland (price: $37,000). It is a win-win start-up for both countries.“
It is quite amazing how wrong Thomas Friedman, Hank Paulson, and John Bryson were on the suitability of Lithium Ion batteries in plug-in automobiles. Actually these three big shots never studied Thermodynamics 101 and should simply stick to their knitting. Yeah they should repeat one thousand times “one plain, one pearl” as they spin their yarns about the demise of the internal combustion engine.