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As it prepares to launch its first car later this year, Coda Automotive has plugged in another high profile former Detroit auto executive to its management team. Michael A. Jackson was last seen around Motown as a vice-president at General Motors heading up marketing and advertising until 2007. Prior to that, Jackson was general manager for GM's western region.

He'll be heading back to the west coast to take the role of senior VP of global sales and distribution at the Santa Monica-based Coda. Similar to Tesla and its company-owned retail outlets, Coda is planning to bypass the traditional franchised dealer network. Jackson will have responsibility for launching that retail network, starting in California and then spreading across the country over the next several years. The official press release is after the jump.

[Source: Coda Automotive]


CODA Automotive Taps Former GM North America Top Sales & Marketing Executive

Michael A. Jackson to Head CODA's Global Sales & Distribution Team

Santa Monica, Calif., January 20, 2010 – California-based manufacturer of electric car and battery systems, CODA Automotive, has hired Michael A. Jackson as senior vice president of global sales and distribution. With more than 25 years of sales and marketing experience with Fortune 500 companies, Jackson will be responsible for building CODA's innovative sales model in anticipation of a late 2010 introduction of the company's all-electric car.

"The search for an executive with the right mix of business acumen, innovative thinking and willingness to take a fresh look at the automotive sales model was a long and arduous process," said Kevin Czinger, president and CEO, CODA Automotive. "We are confident that Mike will provide the leadership necessary to make the value-for-your-money CODA a desirable choice for any American."

Recognizing the inefficiencies of the traditional automotive business model and the opportunity for reinvention, CODA will sell its vehicle directly to consumers and deliver a unique customer ownership experience.

"The opportunity to work with an innovative tech company that defies convention is truly unique," said Jackson. "I look forward to leveraging my experience and passion for the category to help make CODA's launch of the first mass produced, all-electric car in the U.S. a success."

Jackson has held sales and marketing positions at General Motors, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Coors Brewing. Prior to joining CODA, Jackson was a partner at Sarkissian Mason, and before that, was the CEO of SPEEDSHAPE. >From 2000 to June of 2007, Jackson held key sales leadership positions within the ranks of GM North America, including vice president of marketing and advertising from 2006 to 2007 where he made significant changes in the way GM marketed its domestic brands, restructured the relationship between GM and its agency partners, focused GM's digital marketing efforts and led several of the most successful new product launches in GM's history (Chevy Silverado, Cadillac Escalade, and the GM 100,000 mile warranty). >From 2002 to 2006, Jackson was GM's general manager for the Western U.S. region (16 states) based in Los Angeles, and from 2000 to 2002, he was the executive director of sales and marketing with responsibility for overseeing vehicle distribution and sales promotion and incentive programs for the domestic business based in Detroit.

About CODA Automotive: Headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif., CODA is working to reduce dependence on oil and leading the way to a cleaner future by building 100% electric cars and transportation battery systems. CODA is working in a smart, inter-dependent way with a number of leading global technology and manufacturing companies to quickly and efficiently bring electric drive technology to market and jump start the electric car movement. Through its exclusive transportation and electric utility storage battery joint venture with Lishen Power Battery, CODA is also a leading designer and large-scale manufacturer of power battery systems. The American engineered, globally built CODA electric car will be available to consumers in 2010.

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