In Italian, the word “coda” refers to the ending section of a piece of music. Unfortunately, the electric car manufacturer that bears that name–Coda Automotive—just filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
This isn’t to say that Coda was always headed for unqualified success: the electric car delivered plenty of range–125 miles, to be exact–but the car, built mostly in China, was also saddled with a drab exterior and interior that couldn’t match or beat the competition. At a time where Nissan Leaf sales are climbing and Chevrolet Volt sales are still fairly high, Coda had difficulty slicing its share of that same pie. It didn’t help that Coda was forced to recall many of its 2012 models after finding that some side-curtain airbags weren’t installed properly.
Coda’s filings at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware state that the California-based company is looking to restructure its operations while under bankruptcy protection, eventually surfacing as an energy storage company and serving larger operations like utility companies.
If things are looking grim for Coda, it isn’t alone. Problems at Fisker Automotive have forced the company to lay off about three quarters of its workforce, and battery maker A123 didn’t survive a massive Fisker Karma battery pack recall, eventually being sold to Chinese manufacturer Wanxiang Group Corporation. Even Fiat admits that making EVs is a tough business, saying that it’ll lose a healthy sum on each 500e compliance car it sells or leases in California.