Sony and Honda have signed a memorandum of understanding solidifying their intent to establish a new company later this year that will develop and sell battery electric vehicles (BEVs).
The companies have agreed to form “a strategic alliance that aims to create a new era of mobility and mobility services” by commercializing BEVs along with providing mobility services. The first BEVs under the yet-to-be-named company are slated to roll off the line in 2025.
“This alliance aims to bring together Honda’s mobility development capabilities, vehicle body manufacturing technology and after-sales service management experience cultivated over many years, with Sony’s expertise in the development and 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,” a statement on Honda’s website says.
The new company won’t own and operate manufacturing facilities. Instead, Honda is expected to be responsible for manufacturing the first EV model at one of its plants. No details about the future EV have been released by Honda or Sony.
“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,” said Kenichiro Yoshida, Sony representative corporate executive officer, chairman, president, and CEO.
Honda director, president, representative executive officer, and CEO Toshihiro Mibe said the new company’s goal will be to “stand at the forefront of innovation, evolution, and expansion of mobility around the world.”
The company will do that, he said, “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.”
The announcement of the new venture comes on the heels of Sony unveiling its SUV prototype, the VISION-S 02, at the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show in January and its plans to establish Sony Mobility Inc. to “further accelerate and make new proposals that further evolve the mobility experience” and “explore entry into the EV market.”
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Office building at the Sony Interactive Entertainment Headquarters campus in San Mateo, California on Feb. 8, 2020. (Credit: hapabapa/iStock)