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Coda electric car company CEO resigns

November 8, 2010 |  4:33 pm

Coda Coda Automotive Inc., a start-up electric car company in Santa Monica, said Monday that its chief executive, Kevin Czinger, has resigned "by mutual consent."

The management shake-up comes barely two months after the company said it would start taking deposits for its four-door, five-passenger sedan and would begin delivering the cars in December.

The automaker is pricing the car at $44,900, a sticker price above electric vehicle offerings from the much larger General Motors Co. and Nissan North America Inc. that also go on sale later this year.

The Coda, GM's Volt and Nissan's Leaf all will be eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit. The Coda and the Leaf will qualify for another $5,000 California tax rebate.

Coda named Steven "Mac" Heller as interim CEO and appointed Mark Jamieson as chief operating officer.

The company has previously said that the all-electric Coda would have a 90- to 120-mile range, depending on driving speed, weather and other factors. The cars are to built on a chassis manufactured in China and based on a design licensed from Mitsubishi Motors Corp. but greatly modified by Coda.

About a third of the vehicle, primarily its electric powertrain, is made in the United States. Final assembly of the vehicles, including installation of the powertrain, is expected to take place at a
factory in Benicia, Calif.

Coda said Czinger would continue to have a relationship with the company as a "senior strategic advisor" and "substantial"  shareholder. Heller has served as co-chairman of Coda's board of directors.

-- Jerry Hirsch

Photo: Kevin Czinger, chief executive officer of Coda Automotive, during a panel discussion at the Milken Institute State of the State conference in Los Angeles last month. Credit: Armando Arorizo/Bloomberg