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Sony and Honda join forces for future EVs

A new company will make clean cars with strengths from both Metal Tech News – March 9, 2022

 

Last updated 7/12/2022 at 1:56pm

Sony Honda JV joint venture EV electric vehicles partnership new company Vision

Sony

Sony unveiled a prototype EV, the Vision-S, in 2020 and has been looking for partners to help it "learn about mobility."

In a collaborative twist, automotive giant Honda Motor Co. Ltd. announced an agreement with Sony Group Corp. to explore the possibility of forming a strategic alliance aiming to create a new era of high value-added battery electric vehicles and commercialize them in conjunction with providing mobility services.

While it may seem strange for the monolithic entertainment company that has brought into the world things like the Playstation and the original Spiderman movies, Sony has a lot to offer the burgeoning movement to EVs that are blurring the lines between automobiles, computers, and entertainment hubs.

Negotiations have already begun toward executing various definitive binding agreements, including a joint development agreement and a joint venture agreement, with a goal of establishing a new company before the year is out.

This alliance aims to bring together Honda's mobility development capabilities, vehicle body manufacturing technology and after-sales service management experience cultivated over 74 years, with Sony's expertise in the development of application of imaging, sensing, telecommunication, network, and entertainment technologies, to realize a new generation of mobility and services that are closely aligned with users and the environment and continue to evolve going forward.

"Sony's purpose is to 'fill the world with emotion through the power of creativity and technology,'" said Kenichiro Yoshida, representative corporate executive officer, chairman, president, and CEO of Sony Group Corporation. "Through this alliance with Honda, which has accumulated extensive global experience and achievements in the automobile industry over many years and continues to make revolutionary advancements in this field, we intend to build on our vision to 'make the mobility space an emotional one,' and contribute to the evolution of mobility centered around safety, entertainment and adaptability."

And Sony has already taken the first step into the e-mobility realm with the development of VISION-S, a sleek and modern battery-electric car that, for fans of its gaming consoles, may notice similarities in design.

As for the yet-to-be-named "new company" to be established by the Sony-Honda JV, sales of its first EV models are projected to begin in 2025. The JV company is expected to plan, design, develop and sell the EVs, but not own and operate manufacturing facilities. This falls on Honda, who is expected to be responsible for manufacturing the first EV model.

Sony Honda JV joint venture EV electric vehicles partnership new company Vision

Jun Hirata/Kyodo News

Sony Chief Executive Kenichiro Yoshida (left), and Honda Chief Executive Toshihiro Mibe (right) shake hands over prospective partnership to develop electric vehicles.

The mobility service platform for the EVs manufactured under this Japanese JV will be developed by Sony.

"The New Company will aim to stand at the forefront of innovation, evolution, and expansion of mobility around the world, by taking a broad and ambitious approach to creating value that exceeds the expectations and imagination of customers," said Toshihiro Mibe, director, president representative executive officer and CEO of Honda Motor Company. "We will do so by leveraging Honda's cutting-edge technology and know-how in relation to the environment and safety, while aligning the technological assets of both companies. Although Sony and Honda are companies that share many historical and cultural similarities, our areas of technological expertise are very different. Therefore, I believe this alliance which brings together the strengths of our two companies offers great possibilities for the future of mobility."

 

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