In the world of electric cars, launch delays seem to be the rule rather than the exception, but one particular automaker seems even more susceptible to changing schedules than any other. 

A year ago California-based Coda Automotive was upbeat, promising its $44,900 electric sedan would be on the roads of California by late 2010. Now it appears we’ll be lucky to see the 2011 Coda Sedan anywhere before the end of 2011. 

Coda’s woes have been ongoing for some time now, but got progressively worse in November last year after the Senior Vice President of Global Sales, Marketing and Distribution and company CEO left within a week of one another, causing the company to undergo significant restructuring. 

Since then we’ve heard very little from Coda, save the news earlier this month that it needed to source a final round of funding in order to get its Sedan ready for market

But the company remained adamant it would hit its new deadline, announcing last week that it would even follow Tesla Motors and become the second all-electric automaker to open a new wave of mall-based showrooms. 

Due to open in July this year, the Westfield Century City mall in Los Angeles had promised to give Coda a unique way to get its 120 mile per charge sedan into the public eye.

However, the store may be a very quiet place for a few months after opening. As it turns out, the automaker won't have a car ready to sell for some time to come.

Phil Martaugh, CEO of Coda Automotive told the Automotive News China Conference earlier this week that the car would not ship until late 2011 at the very earliest. 

"We're getting our production tooling all in order now.” he explained. “It takes about six weeks to ship them over to the United States, so sometime in the fourth quarter, probably the late fourth quarter, we'll see cars going on sale in California.”

The reasons for the delay? Coda isn’t exactly being transparent about them, but claim the delays are primarily caused by improvements in trim, battery life, charger specification and performance. 

In other words, delays caused by wanting to make the product better for consumers.  

We’re not convinced. 

 We've given up on a Coda for the 2011 model year, but the 2012 Coda Sedan? 

Only time will tell. 


[, The LA Times]