North Bay Business Journal

Monday, September 3, 2012, 6:00 am

Fast-Growing Companies in 2012: Manufacturing


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    CODA Automotive

    Benicia, 855-464-2632, codaautomotive.com

    BENICIA — Three years after first announcing its plan to develop a new all-electric vehicle in California, CODA Automotive’s first five-seat sedan drove off of the final assembly line in Solano County this March.

    Amports Inc., an auto processor in Benicia, entered into an agreement with CODA last year to complete final assembly of the sedan’s China-manufactured components. The two companies projected an initial joint hiring of 50 additional employees for the work, with 10,000 to 14,000 cars expected for production in the first year.

    Since then, five dealers around California have begun offering the zero-emission to consumers, and the company delivered its first fleet vehicle May. Also a developer of battery technologies, the company expects to more than double its staff to 650 in the coming years.

    This April, CODA Holdings announced a contract with China’s Great Wall Motors to jointly develop a new entry-level, zero-emission vehicle. The company’s current sedan retails for $37,250, with up to $10,000 in combined federal and state savings currently available in California. The vehicle offers a range of up to 125 miles per charge in city driving conditions and a top speed that exceeds freeway limits in the state.

    Blu Homes

    Mare Island, Vallejo, 866-887-7997, bluhomes.com

    VALLEJO — The amount of money invested in California- and Massachusetts-based Blu homes doubled in March, reaching $50 million after a $25 million infusion from the Netherlands-based Skagen Group and Brightpath Capital Partners.

    The new funding will help the developer and manufacturer of prefabricated, energy-efficient homes to further develop proprietary manufacturing technologies and expand its single-family and developer-sales teams, according to the company.

    Founded in 2008, Blu Homes has manufactured its structures in a 250,000-square-foot factory in Vallejo since 2011. The offerings range from 430-square-foot studio models to two-story homes with footprints that exceed 1,000 square feet.

    While sustainable construction, energy efficiency and personalization are hallmarks of the company’s offerings, the prefabricated structures are also able to “fold” for simplified transportation. Homes are installed in one day and finished in two weeks.

    The company had 205 employees as of July 2012, with offices in Vallejo and San Francisco, as well as Michigan and Massachusetts. The company has sold homes throughout the United States as both primary residences and additions, and has also sold the structures to various educational institutions.

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