The other California-based automaker didn’t grab the attention of buyers; Coda only sold 100 units.

It’s been a rough year for fledgling automakers. First there was Suzuki (last year in the US, this year in Canada), then Fisker (which has yet to file paperwork, but it will probably be soon), and now another EV automaker has bit the dust.

Coda Automotive, based in Los Angeles, California, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and will be restructuring to become an energy storage company, Automotive News reports.

The company used a Chinese car – the Hafei Saibao, itself based on the late-90s Mitsubishi Lancer – as a base for the Coda Electric Sedan. Its design was widely criticized as being quite bland. We think it looks a lot like the unbranded sedan in Subaru’s “Mediocrity Motors” campaign.

The official statement from Coda below.

CODA Holdings, Inc. to Restructure Business around Energy Storage

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — CODA Holdings, Inc. (“the Company” or “CODA”) announced today that it is focusing its business strategy on the growing energy storage market.  CODA plans to implement the restructuring of its business through a voluntary filing under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.  The voluntary petition was filed today in the District of Delaware.  This process is intended to enable the Company to complete a sale, confirm a Plan and emerge from bankruptcy in a stronger position to execute its new business plan.  The Company expects the sale process to take 45 days to complete.

FCO MA CODA Holdings LLC, an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group, is leading a consortium of lenders intending to provide debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing to enable the Company’s energy storage business to remain fully operational during the restructuring process.  The Company has filed a motion with the bankruptcy court for approval of the consortium, or its designee, as the stalking horse bidder in the sale process to acquire the Company post-bankruptcy.  In addition, the Company will seek to monetize value of its existing automotive business assets.

“After concluding a comprehensive review of our strategic options, the Board of Directors, management team and senior lending group have concluded that focusing on the Company’s energy storage business presents the best opportunity moving forward,” said Phil Murtaugh, Chief Executive Officer, CODA Holdings, Inc.  “We believe the restructuring process that we have entered into today will enable the Company to complete a sale and confirm a Plan that maximizes the value of its assets, serving the best interests of our stakeholders.”

CODA diversified its business and formed CODA Energy two years ago.  CODA Energy’s products are based on the same core technology, which includes its proprietary battery management and thermal management systems, found in CODA’s vehicles adapted for stationary energy storage applications.  The Company designs and builds scalable, custom energy storage solutions optimized for generation, distribution and behind-the-meter applications for commercial, residential and industrial end users.   The Company is currently shipping product, and has a robust pipeline of new customers and existing installations in the field.

CODA’s legal advisor in connection with the restructuring is White & Case LLP.  Emerald Capital Advisors serves as its Chief Restructuring Officer and restructuring advisor, and Houlihan Lokey serves as its investment banker for the restructuring.  Sidley Austin LLP is serving as FCO MA CODA Holdings LLC’s  legal advisor.

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