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2012 Coda Sedan: You Can’t Get One Yet, But You Can Visit The Store

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Where do you go to buy your next green car? 

For most consumers, the answer would be the local car dealer on the outskirts of town,  but yesterday California-based Coda Automotive just opened up its first showroom -- in a shopping mall. 

Located on L.A’s Westside in the Westfield Century Mall, the Coda showroom nestles next to more traditional mall-shops --  a Godiva chocolatier and a designer watch company -- but the firm hopes that it will gain the attention of curious passers-by with its unconventional attitude to sales. 

Coda isn’t the first electric automaker to setup in a Mall though.  Tesla Motors -- maker of the legendary Tesla Roadster and up-coming 2012 Model S Sedan -- has several successful mall-based Tesla stores where it says casual mall foot-traffic has helped keep interest in the brand at a time when it has very few cars to sell. 

For Coda, its mall store is about gaining that same curious, casual passer by to stop and find out more about its all-electric sedan -- raising brand awareness in the hope that casual passers-by will consider one of its cars when they next shop for one. 

There’s also another benefit to engaging with customers in the shopping mall: it keeps customers and Coda away from the jungle of dealers’ lots where Coda would struggle to compete with cheaper electric cars from mainstream automakers. 

But while Coda may have a prime storefront, it doesn’t even have a car to sell. Potential customers looking for a test-drive will have to be content for now with a pre-production prototype, presumably several generations on from the car we rode in back in 2009

When will a production model be ready? We’re not sure, but based on Coda’s own admissions we don’t expect an official model launch until the end of 2011 2012.

At $44,900, -- that’s almost $10,000 more than the 2012 Nissan Leaf -- we’re not sure many mall passers-by will commit to buying a 2012 Coda Sedan just yet, especially as it isn’t as well equipped as either the Nissan Leaf or the 2012 Chevrolet Volt. 

At least we know one thing for sure. Coda’s mall store opened almost two months after it had originally planned. Keeping its unfortunate tradition of missing every one of its own self-professed launch dates. 

[LATimes]

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Comments (6)
  1. Late 2012? The article you link to still mentions late 2011....Not that it matters I suppose. They may have their bigger battery going for them but still, If they can't undercut the Leaf's price the chances for this less refined product are slim to nil I'm afraid.
     
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  2. @Chris: Whoops! Thanks for pointing out our error. We've fixed it.
     
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  3. Wouldn't it be great if Coda supported the local EV community by allowing non-Coda cars to charge at their J1772 chargers in the parking garage? I could see a policy of "Coda-first", but the current policy is "Coda-only". They're missing a chance to pitch their car to the very group that they want to sell to.
     
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  4. or at the very least, give them a good "green" reputation.
     
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  5. a couple of articles

    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-autos-coda-sedan-review-20110908,0,2830755.story

    http://www.notcot.com/archives/2011/09/coda-ev-shopping-in-the-mall.php
     
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  6. Sounds like good news, the opening of this store may mean that they're ready to go and we'll see the production Coda on the road soon.
     
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