Honda and Sony, the emerging companies, have decided to launch a new company for “high value-added” EVs and to commercialize them. Honda (Tokyo) will team up with Sony to form a new joint venture to develop and sell EVs.
A First Japanese Collaboration
This would be the very first collaboration in the Japanese brand’s history. These two iconic brands, Sony and Honda, will tackle the challenge of the new mobility in the automobile industry to form high-tech electronic vehicles. Furthermore, the new company still has to be named to start its operations and sell in 2025.
Toshihiro Mibe (the Honda CEO) mentioned that the initial business would be smaller, but tying up with the high technology company would be great for innovation. Furthermore, Mibe added that this would be an unparalleled approach. However, it was a difficult step to be taken ahead, but we can create and innovate an unexpected value proposition to the customers through this new company.
Moreover, this unique combination of these high auto tech heavyweights could be Japan’s answer to stabilizing the country’s competitive edge against digitalization.
The Honda and Sony Joint Venture is Significant
Honda will contribute to body manufacturing and after-sale services. Sony will work on telecommunications, imagining, sensing, networking, and entertainment technology. In contrast, the company will not operate the assembly plant but will work on designing, developing, and selling an EV.
However, the EV will utilize a mobility service platform designed by Sony.
Further, Mibe added that Honda and Sony enjoy similar historical and cultural changes, but the joint high-tech advancement would be a different experience for both of us. Honda always tries to maintain its position in the rapidly changing automotive industry by plummeting combustion and completely shifting to drivetrains in 2040. This would be the key to transformation.
Sony, the maker of play stations and creator of movies and music through its entertainment arms, is watching ahead to serve in the auto fields. Yoshida said that they intend to build a vision to make a mobility space into an emotional one. And will contribute to the growth of mobility service, hovering around safety, adaptability, and entertainment. However, Sony was the first entertainment pioneer to launch Walkman portable cassette player in 1979.
They both see this technological sector as a new frontier. As Apple is also working on an auto program, Waymo focuses on self-driving cars. Chinese are also paddling towards the auto industry. However, Mibe added that, in the USA, Europe, and China, he sees new players coming in EV technology, bringing positive competition, and Sony will revitalize the whole automobile industry.
Mibe mentioned that Honda approached Sony last summer until the end of the year to discuss a joint venture collaboration. However, he further added, the joint venture will be a separate brand with a separate identity. They have also collaborated with General Motors and initialed a plan to share an EV platform with General Motors for the North American markets, which is crucial for the mass marketing strategy.
Nonetheless, Mibe plans to phase out the internal company’s combustion engines by 2040. On roads to transform Honda into the carbon-neutral power and splendid mobility provider. In addition, he stated that the existing original equipment manufacturer (OEM) isn’t doing something innovative. He felt a shift in the new players from different industries and startups, who challenged themselves without fear and failure.