Coda Automotive Lays Off 50

It looks like Southern California's emerging electric automobile industry has definitively hit the skids, as Santa Monica-based electric auto developer Coda Automotive laid off 50 employees Tuesday. The layoffs--first reported by PlugInCars--apprently included a "substantial part" of its sales and marketing staff. The layoffs impact approximately 15 percent of Coda's workforce. The layoffs apparently come as the company has sold less than 100 of its automobiles since launching in March, according to the report. The move comes only a few days after news that Southern California's other, remaining electric auto startup--Fisker Automotive--is seeking a buyer, hoping to stave off Chapter 11 bankruptcy. So far, the region's track record in the sector has been less than stellar--Aptera Motors, which had been developing a three-wheeled electric vehicle, shut down in 2011, and Next Autoworks (V-Vehicle) quietly disappeared in 2011, after failing to get a DOE loan.