Coda will sell cars through franchised dealers, not at 'experience' centers

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To save operation costs, Coda Automotive will sell its battery-electric sedans through franchised dealers and not at its so-called "experience centers" that are designed to educate the public about EVs, Automotive News reported.

Coda CEO Phil Murtaugh estimated that a franchised dealer would need to sell about 65 cars a month to be viable, though Coda hasn't disclosed total sales targets, the publication said. Coda, which opened its Los Angeles headquarters in November, has one "experience center" at a shopping mall in Los Angeles's Century City district. Two California dealers – one in San Diego and another in San Jose – should be carrying Codas by the end of this month.

The company, which aims to have agreements with 40 North American dealers by the end of the year, is launching sales of its 150-mile-range Sedan for $39,900. Coda also said last month that it would sell a version with a slightly shorter single-charge range for $2,650 less.

Coda has raised more than $300 million since its 2009, including a $147-million round last fall. Coda Automotive parent Coda Holdings also said in January that it would operate a division that specializes in energy-storage devices to capitalize on what some analysts say will be a boom in revenue from secondary use of automotive batteries.

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