Sony and Honda said they would set up an electric vehicle manufacturing joint venture to bring together two of Japan’s most famous industry names to compete against Tesla, emerging Chinese companies and traditional automakers.
The announcement of the proposed merger comes less than two months after Sony announced it would form a new company to “explore entry“ into the EV market and presented a prototype.
In a joint statement issued in Tokyo on Friday afternoon, Honda and Sony said they are exploring a strategic alliance to create “a new era of mobility and mobility services.” The new company is to be founded later this year, and sales of the first electric vehicle are scheduled to begin in 2025.
Honda will take responsibility for manufacturing the first EV model at its plant, while Sony said it will develop the mobility services platform for the new company.
“The new company will aim to be at the forefront of innovation, development and expansion of mobility around the world by taking a broad and ambitious approach to creating value that exceeds customer expectations and imagination,” said Toshihiro Mibe, CEO of Honda.
Mibe added that while the companies “share many historical and cultural similarities, our technological specialties are very different.”
“Therefore, I believe that this alliance, which brings together the strengths of our two companies, offers great opportunities for the future of mobility,” he said.
Sanshiro Fukao, senior fellow at the Itochu Research Institute, said Honda was the logical choice for such a partnership. In April last year, the company announced it was complete Phasing out petrol cars focus on electric vehicles.
Sony, along with the world’s largest contract manufacturer of chips, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), and Japanese auto parts giant Denso, is building a new semiconductor plant in Japan with the aim of producing chips by 2024.
“These chips could well be built into the Sony-Honda cars, and there is already a lot of speculation about how these chips will be used,” Fukao said.
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