Coda Automotive Inc., an electric car company based in Santa Monica, California, has named industry veteran and former executive of GM China, Phil Murtaugh, as its new CEO.

This is an important milestone in the history of the company as it plans to launch its first all-electric car. The five-seat sedan, scheduled for launch in the second-half of this year, is made in China with a dependable minimum range of 90-120 miles on a fully charged battery.

The vehicle is also equipped with a NanoVision nTOUCH Infotainment system, where the touch screen can be used as an AM/FM radio, satellite radio or MP3 Player, iPod or iPhone.

Bloomberg quoted Phil saying, Over the next six months, my focus is going to be bringing the car to market. We're going to be looking at expanding our sales and marketing activities and planning for future growth.

Ever since Coda's previous CEO, Kevin Czinger, stepped down in November 2010, the company has been seeking a new executive.

Phil was employed by General Motors (GM) for more than 30 years in various management and executive-level positions. From 1996 to 2000, he served as Executive Vice President of Shanghai GM, and from 2000 to 2005, as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GM China.

After this, Phil was appointed the Executive Vice President of International Operations for Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC). This was followed by his executive role for Chrysler and most recently, as the Director of Lear Corporation.