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Coda Automotive Taps Droga5 as Agency of Record

Win Is Indie Shop's First Time in Car Category

By Published on .

DETROIT (AdAge.com) -- Plug-in electric carmaker Coda Automotive has hired Droga5, New York, as its agency of record, marking the independent hot shop's entry into the category.

Coda plans to start selling its vehicle in fall 2010 in California only.
Coda plans to start selling its vehicle in fall 2010 in California only.
Kara Saltness, director-marketing and communications at the Santa Monica, Calif., carmaker, said Droga5 was recommended by one of Coda's board members familiar with the agency's work. A handful of other agencies, identified by "personal connections" of company officials, were also contacted for the pitch, though she declined to identify them. Droga5's "strong track record for branding" gave the agency the edge, she said. "Our approach is different than any carmaker's model, so we were looking for something different in an agency."

Coda plans to start selling its vehicle in fall 2010 in California only. A Chinese car company will make the four-door car body for Coda; plans call for under 3,000 cars to be sold next year with as many as 20,000 the next year. The marketer expects the five-seater to sell for some $45,000, or in the mid-$30,000s after including a $7,500 federal tax credit and state incentives.

"Being in that vehicle is literally life-changing; traveling 65 miles an hour in an all-electric car changes your geopolitical perspective in a real way," said Andrew Essex, CEO of Droga5.

Droga5 worked with web-design firm Solutions Set to create the company's microsite at codaautomotive.com, Coda Chief Financial Officer Dan Mosher said. Coda plans to launch a full website at the end of the summer, Ms. Saltness said. She said plans are still being formulated for next year's California launch, and noted that the company is currently looking at a "high touch, outreach strategy" for the launch that is "very much a face-to-face outreach."

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