Coda to sell China-made electric vehicles in US in 2011

The firm is also in talks with its main Chinese manufacturing partner Hafei Motor about selling electric cars in China, the world’s biggest auto market, the Wall Street Journal said, citing Coda chief executive Philip Murtaugh.

The California-based company, which also has a joint venture with Tianjin Lishen Battery Joint-Stock Co, expects to sell 10,000-14,000 sedans in the first 12 months after its launch in the United States, the newspaper said.

Coda’s sedan is aimed at the middle of the market with a suggested retail price of $44,900, the report said.

It will face competition in the green car market from larger rivals General Motors and Nissan Motor, which have already launched electric vehicles in the US market.

Murtaugh, who joined Coda in January, said he hoped to work with Hafei to launch a Coda-based vehicle in China.

"Before I got here, there wasn’t a whole lot of attention paid to China within Coda, in terms of domestic sales," Murtaugh, a former GM China chairman, was quoted saying. "The first question I asked was, why aren’t we selling this in China. So we’re working on it."