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Autofield Blog

CODA and the Great Wall


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27. April 2012

While you might not recognize the crossover shown here, it is the Haval. It is built by Great Wall Motors Co. of China. According to the folks at CODA Holdings, a developer of lithium-ion battery systems and an EV sedan, Great Wall is “the fastest growing and most profitable Chinese OEM.” According to the Great Wall website, in March the Haval was number-two in overall SUV sales in China, second only to the Honda CR-V.

Great Wall Haval

The point in all this is that earlier this week CODA and Great Wall signed a contract “to co-develop the first all-electric vehicle for worldwide development in distribution.”

According to CODA Holdings CEO Phil Murtaugh—who had been executive vice president of Shanghai GM, chairman and CEO of GM China, and executive vice president of International Operations for Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. (SAIC), among other positions—“This marks the launch of our partnership with Great Wall Motors that will enable us to bring EVs to global markets in a very efficient and cost-effective manner.” He added, “Ultimately, this will enable drivers worldwide to go electric affordably and support our mission of putting an EV in everyone’s garage.”

CODA sedan

CODA Sedan

While it is unlikely that CODA and Great Wall will accomplish that feat, it is more than likely that through arrangements and agreements like this, there will be a proliferation of EVs.

There are many who are skeptical of EVs in what remains a gasoline-centric industry. But when you consider things like Great Wall growing by 70% in 2010 over 2009 and then 23% in 2011 over 2010 (it sold some 487,000 vehicles in 2011, which is still a small number by mass-market measures, but if it keeps a double-digit growth curve for the next few years, it could become formidable), betting against new tech is probably not a wise choice.

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