Honda signed a memorandum of understanding with Sony, where they agreed to establish a joint venture with the goal of developing, producing, and selling EVs, in conjunction with providing mobility services. The “New Company,” as it is being referred to, will be established within 2022, and the first EV is expected to reach the market by 2025.
According to the announcement, the alliance will utilize “Honda’s mobility development capabilities, vehicle body manufacturing technology, and after-sales service management experience”. In other words, Honda will not only produce the vehicles in its own factories, but it will also play an active role in the design and development of the production models. As for Sony, it will contribute with its “ expertise in the development and application of imaging, sensing, telecommunication, network, and entertainment technologies” putting it in charge of the new mobility service platform.
Sony unveiled the Vision-S 01 sedan in CES 2020 and the Vision-S 2 SUV in CES 2022. Both concepts were built by Magna Steyr, with development partners including Bosch, Valeo, and Almotive. While we can’t be sure if the first production vehicle will be based on the aforementioned concept cars, their development program has been ongoing for more than two years making them good candidates.
Having said that, the press release mentions that the “New Company” is expected to “plan, design, develop, and sell the EVs”, which could hint at a new project, with the joint venture having plenty of time until the targeted market launch in 2025.
Sony had announced the establishment of Sony Mobility Inc in spring 2022 with the goal of exploring entry into the EV market and searching for partners. It seems that plans worked out well for the tech giant since Honda sounds like a great choice for a joint venture. The establishment of the New Company is still awaiting definitive agreements and relevant regulatory approvals but Sony and Honda are optimistic about finalizing it this year.
Kenichiro Yoshida, Representative Corporate Executive Officer, Chairman, President and CEO, Sony Group Corporation, said: “Sony’s Purpose is to ‘fill the world with emotion through the power of creativity and technology.’ 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.”
Toshihiro Mibe, Director, President, Representative Executive Officer and CEO, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. said: “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. 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.” He added that “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.”
Sony Vision-S 02
Sony Vision-S 01
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