Honda and Sony have been analyzing the possibility of starting up a joint venture that would combine their expertise and result in the creation of compelling electric vehicles. Well, today they finally announced that this joint venture has been created and that it will be a separate entity called Sony Honda Mobility Inc. whose first EV will debut in 2025.
The two companies will each own 50 percent of the joint venture, although their contribution to the project will be quite different. Sony knows nothing about making cars, but it has decades of experience in tech and entertainment and in an era when driving is becoming increasingly automated, the need to keep passengers entertained will be increased.
The tech giant stayed tight-lipped until today, in spite of the fact that it showed off two electric vehicle concepts that seemed like they could go into production tomorrow. We don’t actually know if either of the two Vision-S models will actually make it into production, since they were not created by or with input from Honda, but Austria’s Magna Steyr instead.
Gallery: Sony Vision-S Prototype
Honda only entered the picture in March, a few months after Sony announced that it was actively looking for an established automotive player to form a 50/50 joint venture with. And since we don’t know whether or not the two concepts (as cool and well received as they were) will spawn production models, this collaboration could get really interesting.
The Japanese automaker is also working with General Motors, which granted use of its Ultium platform and battery technology, to launch its first electric crossover, the kind of vehicle that all manufacturers nowadays want to cash in on. We therefore don’t know how far fetched it would be to consider that the Sony EV might end up being built by Honda, but on a GM platform.
Nothing of the sort has so much as been alluded to, but since Honda doesn’t actually have its own EV platform and GM is providing it, what’s stopping it being used in a Sony EV? In fact, if the Vision-S 01 and 02 are not put the joint venture’s first offerings, then the chance of the Sony Honda Mobility Inc. EV being Ultium-based is high.
Gallery: Sony Vision-S 02 SUV Concept
Mobility is in the joint venture’s name and aside from selling vehicles, it will also offer some form of ride sharing or hailing services. To mark the occasion, Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe said
We are very pleased to have signed a joint venture agreement with Sony, which has strengths in advanced digital technology, and shares our desire to take on new challenges.
At the new company, we will strive to create new value through the fusion brought about by the combination of our different industries, so please look forward to future developments.
Kenichiro Yoshida, Sony Group Corporation CEO expressed similarly optimistic views stating that
As we continue our learnings in these areas, we are excited to have met a partner, Honda, with extensive global achievements and knowledge, and to sign the joint venture agreement between the two companies.
We aim to contribute to the evolution of mobility by combining Honda’s cutting-edge environmental and safety technologies, mobility development capabilities, vehicle body manufacturing technology and after-sales service management experience, with our expertise in imaging, sensing, telecommunication, network and entertainment technologies.