Sony and Honda partner up to develop and sell battery-powered electric vehicles and said they were open to bringing in other partners. The companies said they would form a joint venture this year and aim to begin selling the first model in 2025. Honda will be responsible for manufacturing the first model, while Sony will develop the mobility service platform.
Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said they would like to lead the mobility revolution by combining technology and experience with Honda's long experience in mobility development and vehicle body manufacturing technologies. The companies did not reveal the financial details of the tie-up. During a news conference in Tokyo on Friday, Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe said he is not thinking about taking the joint venture public immediately he would not dismiss that as among the options to grow the firm.
The announcement comes as the electronics maker was seeking to further its ambitions to become a key player in next-generation automobiles, while automakers like Honda are under pressure to make carbon-free cars as well as vehicles equipped with features beyond traditional means of transportation.
The rapid shift to embrace electric vehicles around the world, stoked by a global push to slash carbon emissions, creates opportunities for tech companies to join the auto market since those vehicles are simpler to manufacture than cars carrying internal combustion engines.
At the same time, those tech companies face challenges of meeting rigorous safety regulations for vehicles and making cars capable of withstanding sometimes difficult driving conditions. Yoshida announced in January a plan to create a new company, Sony Mobility, saying it was exploring a commercial launch of electric vehicles.
The worldwide EV market currently enjoys a market share of 9 percent in the overall car industry, more than double the 4.1 percent in 2020, when three million units were sold, and more than triple 2019's 2.5 percent share, when 2.2 million cars were sold, the IEA said.
The two companies said they expect to sign various binding agreements, including a joint-development pact and a joint venture deal, with a goal of establishing the new company this year, subject to regulatory approvals.
i)Satoshi Sugiyama (2022)Sony, Honda team up to develop and sell electric vehicles