2011 Coda Sedan electric car, New York City, September 2010
Parting is never easy.
In a shock move a few days ago, Michael A Jackson, the Senior Vice President of Global Sales, Marketing and Distribution at CODA Automotive, has resigned - long before the first all-electric 2011 Coda Sedans hit the roads of the U.S.
On Tuesday, CODA made a short press release on prnewswire.com announcing that Jackson had tended his resignation in order to start his own firm, Jackson Partners LLC.
Does Jackson’s departure hint at something very wrong at the Santa Monica EV company, or just an usually timed career move?
In a statement contained in the release, Jackson said:
I am a true believer that the electric vehicle era is underway and true adoption will accelerate once electric cars are delivered to American consumers. I wish my colleagues and friends at CODA nothing but the best as they bring this zero emission product to the public. I've been very fortunate to work on some of the best known global brands, I enjoy the challenge of executing demand building plans focused on delivering significant value and sustainable growth. I look forward to continuing that work with my new firm, Jackson Partners."
Jackson has said nothing on the subject. CODA remains similarly quiet, save for the short press release.
“We thank Mike for his service to CODA and wish him well in his future endeavours”, said President and CEO of CODA Automotive, Kevin Czinger. “Mike led the design of an innovative sales and marketing strategy that the team will execute in the coming months”
The 2011 Coda Sedan is due to go on sale later this year. With a thermally-managed battery pack, CODA claims a larger range and superior battery pack design over its direct rival, the 2011 Nissan Leaf.
CODA claims an ideal range of between 90 and 120 miles per 33.8 kilowatt-hour charge of the Sedan. The 2011 CODA Sedan is also able to charge quicker than its rivals when using 240V outlet, drawing 30A instead of 16A.
During his time at CODA, Jackson helped the fledgling automotive firm plan its rollout of the 2011 Coda Sedan, planning to showcase the $44,900, five seat car through a series of shopping-mall based locations.
The key to Jackson’s plan wasn’t to sell the 2011 Coda Sedan through its showrooms. Instead, he envisaged the showrooms as places to educate and inform consumers about the car. Using his plan, orders would then be finalized on the Internet rather than taken in-store.
Jackson’s departure from CODA is a quiet affair. The news is contained in a press release in the Coda Automotive Press Room, but it's already the second one down--below a company blurb praising the defeat of California Proposition 23--under the highly unspecific title of "Sales and Marketing Update."
What disturbs us more however, is the timing of Jackson’s departure. With Coda’s own goal of delivering limited cars to consumers by the end of 2010 it is now faced with a search to find Jackson’s replacement.