Car companies are increasingly technology companies. Many new cars offer everything from Wi-Fi on the go to voice-controlled personal assistants.
Technology companies routinely talk about becoming car companies. From the long-rumored Apple Car to Google’s WayMo robotaxi project, the companies that build consumer technology seem to flirt with becoming car companies just as often as the reverse.
So, the joint Sony/Honda car makes sense.
The two companies announced plans to work together on a slate of electric vehicles (EVs) back in March. Now, they’ve made their union official.
Not Hony or Sonda… Yet
The joint venture will be called Sony Honda Mobility (at least on paper – we expect a pithier name and logo by the time this progresses to a badge on the hood of a car). Each parent will contribute $37.52 million to the startup. They plan on producing their first EV in 2025. They aim to sell the cars in the U.S., Japan, and Europe.
In a press release, the partners say, “The new company will aim to bring together Honda’s cutting-edge environmental and safety technologies, mobility development capabilities, vehicle body manufacturing technology, and after-sales service management experience, with Sony’s expertise in the development and application of imaging, sensing, telecommunication, network, and entertainment technologies.”
We May Have Already Seen The Cars
Sony showed off a pair of EV concepts – one a sedan and one an SUV – at January’s CES electronics show. It’s unclear whether the joint venture’s products will be based on those cars.
Not a lot is clear about the team-up. Honda has announced its own plan to sell nothing but electric cars and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles by 2040. The Sony team-up could theoretically sell cars through Honda’s existing dealership network. But that would leave Honda products competing with Sony Honda Mobility products on their own sales floor.
So the two companies might opt for an online-only sales model like EV builders Tesla, Rivian, and Lucid use. Some legacy automakers are openly discussing moving to a similar model.