Los Angeles—Coda Automotive is in a tough position these days.
Earlier this month, CEO Kevin Czinger abruptly resigned, handing over the job to an interim CEO.
The company, which has raised $125 million, is also raising another round in the $60 million to $125 million range. It also delayed the release of its all-electric sedan from December 2010 to the third quarter of 2011.
But it’s not giving up, and it says it has some features that will present a challenge to Nissan and the soon-to-be released Leaf.
“We have a bigger battery than the Leaf,” said interim CEO Steve Heller during a chat with reporters at the Coda booth at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Coda’s sedan has a 33.8-kilowatt-hour battery. The Leaf has a 24-kilowatt-hour battery. That will translate to better performance and a longer driving range.
Coda has also included an active thermal management system to make the car work better in extreme climates.
“We have a substantial trunk,” he added.
Another point: Coda won’t sell its car through traditional dealers. “We’ve listened to customers. They dislike the dealer experience. They dislike haggling,” the Coda rep said. “It does not build trust.”
Instead, Coda will set up kiosks in places like Century City in West L.A. for people to learn about electric cars and the Coda. When they want to buy, they can go online to place an order. The system will save on commissions and dealer real estate too, because the cars will be made in a more build-to-order fashion.
Will it be enough? Who knows. But it will be interesting to watch.