Honda's CEO Toshihiro Mibe said at a recent press briefing that the company is open to form a new alliance to lower the costs of electrification and make electric cars profitable.
We guess that it's not an accidental invitation to other manufacturers to start negotiations about a deeper partnership.
"“If through an alliance Honda can accomplish early what it should aim to be, then we’d be willing to form an alliance,” Toshihiro Mibe, who took the top job in April, told a press briefing, when asked how he envisions global alliances on electrification."
“Building an alliance will become a huge direction in terms of increasing the number of electric vehicles, considering how electrification is not commercially feasible right now,”
At this point, it's not clear who would be the best partner for Honda, which over the years was not pushing plug-ins too much.
The company has set a strategic goal to offer only zero-emission cars by 2040, but about 10 years from now, it will be only 40% in major markets.
The short-term approach in North America will be a partnership with General Motors to introduce two new large-sized EV models (one Honda and one Acura) as 2024 model year vehicles.
In the second half of this decade, Honda will introduce e:Architecture, "a completely new EV platform led by Honda."
General Motors and Honda partnered on plug-ins, hydrogen fuel cells and autonomous driving tech, which makes it a favorite for a deeper partnership.
The Japanese manufacturer currently is in a process of shutting down a few of its plants in the United Kingdom, Turkey and Japan to improve profitability.
Toshihiro Mibe mentioned also that the differentiating factor for Honda could be the next generation batteries (the company hopes for all-solid-state batteries ready in the second part of this decade), but others are also working on it.