The electric car market is creating alliances that were unpredictable until yesterday. The most recent example is Japan’s manufacturing giant Honda motors and Sony Group Corporation that, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to establish a joint venture through which they plan to engage in the joint development and sales of high value-added battery electric vehicles (EVs) and commercialize them in conjunction with providing mobility services.
The two companies will proceed with a goal of establishing the New Company within 2022, and the sales of the first EV model are expected to start in 2025.
In 2020, Sony unveiled a prototype car, the Vision-S, and soon after, the company was looking for an important partner with experience in the mobility sector. At this year’s CES, the company unveiled a new concept SUV dubbed Vision-S 02. It is now pressing ahead with its vision through the new partnership with Honda.
The agreement also opens the doors to other partners interested in the electric mobility revolution, which also counts on technological giants such as Alphabet with Waymo platform and Apple with the elusive Titan Project. There are also significant investments underway in electric cars by Ford, General Motors, Volkswagen, Toyota, and other famous car brands.
The roles that the two partners will play are very clear: Honda will handle the development and production of the cars and after-sales services that are essential for customer satisfaction. Sony, on the other hand, will deal with technologies present in cars, including onboard entertainment, a sector in which Sony boasts a world leadership.
The New Company is expected to plan, design, develop, and sell the electric vehicles but not own and operate manufacturing facilities, so Honda is expected to be responsible for manufacturing the first EV model at its vehicle manufacturing plant. It is expected that a mobility service platform will be developed by Sony and made available for the New Company.
“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, 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.”