2012 Coda Sedan: On Sale, But Can You Test-Drive One?

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2012 Coda Sedans on assembly line, Benicia, California, March 2012

2012 Coda Sedans on assembly line, Benicia, California, March 2012

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It’s been nearly four months since deliveries of the 2012 Coda Sedan started, but with the automaker not willing to divulge its sales figures and very few cars spotted on the road, is the automaker in trouble?

According to PluginCars, the Californian automaker’s biggest problem at the moment is availability of cars. 

No test-drives

Even one of Coda’s key dealerships, based in the heart of Silicon Valley, has difficulties giving customers test drives of production cars.  Plugincars reports that one customer, Bob Ostertag, a teacher at U.C. Davis, has been waiting for more than six weeks for a test-drive of a production Coda Sedan. 

Since it launched however, Bob says the local dealer in Silicon Valley has been unable to give him a test-drive in a production Coda.  Nor does it have cars to sell. 

First delivery of 2012 Coda Sedan, at Coda Silicon Valley, to buyer Randy Abraham, March 2012

First delivery of 2012 Coda Sedan, at Coda Silicon Valley, to buyer Randy Abraham, March 2012

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Coda CEO Phil Murtaugh is aware of the problem. 

“You’re welcome to call dealers and they will tell you they are not happy with availability,” he admitted. 

Sales figures?

This is particularly concerning, since production of the 2012 Coda Sedan started in March. Either demand is so high that Coda can’t keep up, or production volume isn’t as high as the launch-day photographs would suggest. 

To date, we’ve yet to encounter a Coda Sedan driver, either anecdotally or in person, so gauging sales figures is particularly difficult. Figures of course, would help clarify popularity of the car. 

But those aren’t coming from Coda. “We purposely don’t publish sales results,” Murtaugh insists. 

2012 Coda Sedan

2012 Coda Sedan

Enlarge Photo

Elusive, bare-boned

It isn’t just customers that have found test-drives difficult. Even the press have struggled to get behind the wheel, with only a few select outlets getting behind the wheel of a near- or production-ready car. 

Those that have driven the car report a car that isn’t quite in tune with American buyers. 

For example, things that you’d expect on pretty much every car today, like cruise control and decent cup holders, aren’t included. 

Some reviewers have also questioned ride quality and comfort of the $38,145 car, asking if consumers will really sacrifice comfort and features in exchange for a car with a slightly larger range than the 2012 Nissan Leaf, 2012 Ford Focus Electric and 2012 Mitsubishi i. 

Will it sell?

Without some time behind the wheel, it’s difficult to tell just how successful the 2012 Coda Sedan will be, but with an apparent lack of cars, we have to admit to now feeling rather concerned about the future of this tiny car maker. 

What do you think? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments below. 

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