Japanese giants Sony and Honda join forces on EVs to rival Tesla
The Japanese tech and automobile giants Sony and Honda announced that two companies are teaming up to develop and sell electric vehicles (EVs) in a press release.
Tech company Sony will develop the mobility platform, as the company has an arsenal of sophisticated technology in areas such as sensors critical to autonomous driving, and automobile manufacturer Honda will design the first model according to the memorandum of understanding signed by the companies, but the financial details of the agreement were not revealed as the details of the agreements are still underway and will be subject to regulatory approval according to the joint statement.
The joint venture is expected to plan, design, develop, and sell the EVs, but not own and operate manufacturing facilities as Honda will handle the manufacturing of the EVs in one of its factories.
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The duo will form a joint venture within the year and aim to deliver its first EV in 2025, rivaling EV giant Tesla, emerging Chinese EV makers, and other traditional carmakers all around the world, as Honda’s domestic rivals, Toyota and Nissan announced spending plans worth tens of billions of dollars at the end of last year.
Bringing together the strengths of Sony and Honda for a new EV experience
The joint venture will not be listed to the public immediately but will keep an initial public offering as an option for the growth of the joint venture. Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida 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.”
CEO of Honda Motors Toshihiro Mibe told, “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. 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.”
Mibe also added that Honda will continue to develop its own EVs while working on the joint venture's EV.
The announcement of two Japanese companies came as automakers are under pressure to manufacture carbon-free cars to contribute to the fight against climate change. These pressures are somehow welcomed by tech companies like Sony, as EVs are simpler to manufacture than cars with internal combustion engines. But there are challenges of rigorous safety regulations, such as pedestrian safety and difficult driving conditions.