California electric car company Coda Automotive is making some major cutbacks in an effort to “right size” its business.
The automaker quietly cut 15 percent of its workforce, approximately 50 employees, on Friday. Coda assembles its $37,250 battery-powered sedan at a facility in Benicia, Calif, using a platform it builds in China, a battery pack imported from Taiwan and an electric motor produced in Colorado by UQM Technologies.
The news was first reported on Tuesday after an anonymous employee tipped off a blogger for the website Plugincars.com. The source also claimed that the company has sold less than 100 cars since it went on sale in March and is running low on funds.
“It’s a real mess,” the source said.
Coda has since released a statement confirming the cuts, but has yet to release any sales figures to the public. The privately-funded company is currently selling the car only in California and has just four dealers across the state.
In recent months Coda has offered incentives that included a $552 rebate meant to pay for a year’s worth of electricity and a free high-speed home charging station worth about $2,000 installed.
The four-door compact has an EPA rated range of 88 miles per charge, which is higher than any of its direct competitors, including the Nissan Leaf and Ford Focus Electric, but trails them on overall energy efficiency.
Critical reviews have been moderately favorable, with high marks for the performance and design of its floor-mounted battery pack, but a lack of refinement largely traced to the car’s aging Chinese underpinnings has garnered some to describe it as a “penalty box.”