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Sony chooses Honda as a partner for the electric car

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Sony chooses Honda as a partner for the electric car

Nothing ever happens by chance. And the new joint venture between Honda and Sony for the development of the electric car brings together two companies with many historical and cultural similarities, even if in areas of technological competence they are different: Honda was founded by Soichiro Honda, an engineer, industrial and known maverick. He started working in his father’s bicycle repair shop. His motto? “A diploma is worth nothing, learn to work with your hands or work for yourself and not for a company”.

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Sony, on the other hand, was founded by Akio Morita (who wrote “Japan that can say no”, supporting the creation of a more determined and proud country) and Masaru Ibuka. Morita had market experience while Ibuka was known for product development. In the 1970s, when Sony was developing the Walkman portable audio player, some engineers were skeptical. But Morita insisted that people would like to listen to music on the go.

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In short, two somewhat visionary companies put together can only make sparks by producing an electric vehicle together. From a practical point of view, the first model resulting from the agreement will arrive on the market by 2025. The plan is to combine Honda’s experience in mobility development, technology and sales with Sony’s experience in imaging, telecommunications. , in networks and entertainment. A combination of traditionally different manufacturing activities is rare for Japan. But it makes sense in the era of electric vehicles. The joint venture will develop and design the product, but will use the Honda plant for production. Sony will develop the mobility services platform.

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The strategy of the agreement is well explained by the two CEOs of the companies: “Through this alliance with Honda which has accumulated significant global experience and skills in the automotive sector over many years – says Kenichiro Yoshida of Sony – we want to develop our vision of making the space of mobility an emotional space. “To him Toshihiro Mibe of Honda echoes:” Although Sony and Honda have many historical and cultural similarities, our areas of technological competence are very different. That’s why I believe that this alliance, combining the points strength of our two companies, it will provide great opportunities for the future of mobility ”.

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It must be honestly said that the most difficult challenge ahead is currently the car manufacturer because it set itself the ambitious goal (last year) of selling 100% electric vehicles around the world by 2040, making colossal investments. in research and development over six years. Not only that: Honda has publicly announced that it plans to increase the share of its electric vehicles (running on electric batteries or hydrogen) to 40% by 2030, 80% by 2035 and 100% by 2040 in South America, North and China.

A huge challenge. It is no coincidence that Honda is already a partner of the American giant General Motors in new automotive technologies, including autonomous vehicles. But even Sony is not entirely out of the car world. Indeed: it has already presented two models of electric cars, even announcing the creation – for the spring of 2022 – of a new subsidiary, “Sony Mobility”, to “explore the possibility of investing in the electric vehicle market.” help from Honda, everything will be easier.

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