Coda Holdings is planning to enter a new deal with a Chinese company, Great Wall Motor Co., to manufacture electric vehicles in China to be sold globally. However, Coda Holdings, which is based in Santa Monica, Calif., will continue to build and sell electric vehicles in the U.S. this year. Last week, Coda said that it has inked a letter of intent with Great Wall for the joint development of electric vehicles.
Coda CEO Phil Murtaugh asserts that this deal will have "zero impact" on Coda's plans for U.S. assembly of an EV that uses car bodies from Hafei Motor Co., a smaller Chinese automaker.
Coda hasn’t totally ruled out building EVs at Great Wall for export to the U.S. Murtaugh said that the company is “wide open” and is studying what would make the “best business sense." This may include exports to the U.S. He said that these cars for the U.S. will be branded Coda but cars meant for China will be given the Great Wall brand.
Great Wall actually has more experience in international markets when compared to Hafei. J.D. Power and Associates said that in 2010, the domestic sales of Great Wall increased by 76% to 397,362 units.
So far, about 55,000 vehicles have been exported to over 100 countries, including Australia. J.D. Power said that Hafei's car sales dropped by 10% in 2010 to 220,330 units.
Murtaugh, who is formerly the head of GM China and Chrysler Asia-Pacific, asserted that the U.S. launch of a Coda EV will take place later this year as scheduled. For many times, this launch has been put off as Coda shuffled leadership and looked for funding.