CODA; sales versus registration, Tesla offering more stock, strategic visions ranks top cars

John Batchelor, host of the John Batchelor radio, talked to Lou Ann Hammond, CEO, www.drivingthenation.com about Tesla doing well, CODA going bankrupt.

Tesla announced offerings of 2,703,027 shares of common stock and $450 million aggregate principal amount of convertible senior notes due 2018 in concurrent underwritten registered public offerings. Musk owns over 26% of Tesla’s stock.

Tesla is on a roll, they’ve worked with Toyota (on the RAV4), they have a collaboration with Mercedes-Benz (for an electric car), they posted their first quarterly profit, Consumer Reports hailed the Tesla S as the best car they’ve ever tested. The only challenge Tesla has now is car distributorship. ABC News is reporting that there is , “A proposed bill in North Carolina that would make it illegal for electric car maker Tesla Motors to use it’s direct-sales method to sell cars in the state. The bill, which passed the state Senate in a unanimous vote Monday night, would prohibit car manufacturers or dealers from selling their cars to consumers without using a licensed dealer. Manufacturers would be barred from “using a computer or other communications facilities, hardware, or equipment” to sell or lease a car to anyone in the state, according to the legislation. If approved, the bill would render a car manufacturer like Tesla unable to legally sell cars in the state.”

Sales versus registration

CODA, was a privately held company that basically tried to sell Chinese kit cars assembled in America. They were headquartered in America, filed for DOE money, and as of May, 2013, have filed for bankruptcy.

CODA Automotive says they sold 100 cars, so when I read that CODA’s troubles were mounting because of a recall I had to laugh. For 6 months I have been asking the guys at R.L. Polk to let me know when they found a CODA car registered anywhere in the United States. They still have not seen one car registered as a CODA in the United States.

It makes sense that sales would be higher than registrations, in fact sales should be higher than registrations in most cases. Lonnie Miller, Vice President, Loyalty Management Practice. Polk explained, “Sales are typically slightly higher than registrations in any reporting month. When Polk reports registrations, you have to realize that the “sales” unit’s reported by OEMs are quantities shipped from the factory, yet they may not have been titled/registered by the consumer or business at the time they cite their sales volumes. So sales tend to be slightly higher than registrations for any point in time.”

Miller also pointed out that sales “could reflect a few different model years (i.e., badged as a MY 201X) when they were physically registered in that 12 month period. So some could be regd in 2013 and actually sold the prior year (just depends on when the owner gets their paperwork together and the DMV reflects it).”

How can a car be sold and not registered? “The main reason for the discrepancy between registrations and sales is because cars can be reported as sold when delivered to dealerships instead of being purchased by consumers,” said Tom Libby, Lead Analyst for Polk’s North American Forecasting Practice.

Libby gave me some examples, “Total U.S. 2012 new vehicle registrations for Fisker, Tesla, and the Chevrolet Volt were 836, 1846 and 22,996, respectively.” Total U.S. 2012 new vehicle sales for Fisker, Tesla and the Chevy Volt were 1,800, 2,650, 23,461 respectively.

. The following list contains the number one ranked vehicles in Total Quality in their segments as rated by new vehicle buyers:
Small Car Dodge Dart 884
Small Multi-Function Kia Soul 868
Medium Car Ford Fusion / Chevrolet Volt 908/907
Medium Multi-Function Honda Accord Crosstour* 877
Larger Car Volkswagen CC 920
Near-Luxury Car Hyundai Genesis / Audi A4 Sedan 922/921
Luxury Car Lexus LS 955
Specialty Coupe (<$28,000) MINI Cooper Hardtop 913 Premium Coupe (>$28,000) Chevrolet Corvette Coupe 931
Convertible (<$30,000) Chrysler 200 Convertible 917 Premium Conv./Roadster (>$30,000) Chevrolet Corvette Conv. / Porsche Boxster 959/957
Minivan Chrysler Town & Country 850
Small SUV Volkswagen Tiguan** / Toyota FJ Cruiser 885/883
Medium SUV Dodge Durango 881
Medium Crossover Chevrolet Traverse 900
Large SUV GMC Yukon 893
Near Luxury SUV Buick Enclave 928
Luxury SUV Porsche Cayenne 948
Standard Pickup Toyota Tacoma 847
Full-Size Pickup Chevrolet Avalanche 896
Heavy Duty Pickup Ford F250/350** 892

About the Author:

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a member of the North American Car and Truck of the Year (NACTOY), Women's World Car of the Year (WWCOTY), and the Concept Car of the Year.