Coda - a Chinese 'Trojan horse'?
EAST MEETS WEST: Great Wall Motors will showcase its hybrid Haval E at the Beijing auto show. Coda and GWM will co-develop a budget electric vehicle for 2014.
Start-up US automaker Coda Automotive says it has reached a deal with Chinese automaker Great Wall Motors to create an affordable battery car.
According to the Detroit News, Coda plans to develop such a vehicle for the US by 2014 based on an existing Great Wall model.
Coda CEO Phil Murtaugh, the DetNews reported, said the automakers would collaborate on developing their first all-electric vehicle for the global market - the "most affordable EV on the market, comparable to entry-level internal combustion engine vehicles".
Vehicles will apparently be developed by both companies at research facilities in Los Angeles and Baoding, China. The model will be partially assembled at Great Wall's plant in Baoding. GWM is showing an electric vehicle at the Beijing auto show.
Coda's electric sedan went on sale in March 2012 but in limited numbers and only in California, the News said.
Despite its US origins there are those who believe the Coda is nothing more than a Chinese automaker in disguise. Greg Autry, from the University of California, was quoted by the DetNews as saying: "In my opinion, they are an importer of Chinese automobiles. But they present themselves as manufacturers of American automobiles that include foreign components,"
Autry labelled the Coda as "a Trojan-horse electric car designed to carry the Chinese military-industrial complex deep into America's auto market".