Not long ago, we told you that some Honda dealers have voiced concerns over the upcoming Sony-Honda electric car joint venture. This is primarily due to the fact that EV startup automakers aren't relying on traditional franchised dealer networks, and some legacy car companies are eyeing the possibility of heading in a new direction with online sales and related plans.
Honda's dealers have already made it clear that they want to be a part of the Sony-Honda EV future. While we don't claim to have a firm grasp on every bit of related policy, it seems Honda could stray from the dealership model as part of the Sony partnership since it's essentially a new company. Sony isn't an automaker, and Sony may have a say in how the plans progress.
With that said, it seems it's becoming increasingly likely that Honda's established dealership network could be involved in servicing the upcoming Sony-Honda EVs. However, it's also already pretty clear that Honda's dealers won't be selling the future vehicles. During the Japanese automaker's recent disclosure of financial results, CFO Kohei Takeuchi noted that the electric cars sales model in partnership with Sony will be brand-new. He said:
"It will be something unconventional, not Sony, not Honda, but something new."
The CFO added that the future plans surrounding sales and service are still up in the air, but he feels Honda's large US dealer network is totally equipped to be able to service the Sony-Honda EVs. Honda has over 1,000 US dealers, and many already service plug-ins. While Honda hasn't made a notable EV push yet, it's certainly not a complete stranger to electric cars.
Honda and Sony plan to produce their first EVs in North America at an upcoming facility in Ohio under the name Sony Honda Mobility Inc. The first vehicles are due to arrive in the spring of 2026. Honda has already teased the first Sony Honda Mobility EV, which will make its official debut at CES in Las Vegas in 2023.
As more legacy automakers streamline their future EV plans, perhaps there will be an emphasis on such joint ventures in an effort to repave some arguably archaic business models. What do you think? Is Honda starting a trend here? Start a conversation in the comment section below.