Sony and Honda have formally announced the establishment of their joint venture. Called Sony Honda Mobility Inc., the company aims to sell battery-electric vehicles and provide mobility services. This comes after the two Japanese corporate giants released a Memorandum of Understanding detailing a strategic alliance in the mobility sector back in March. Sony and Honda will each have a 50% share in the company.
The new organization aims to combine Honda’s expertise in vehicle manufacturing, environmental and safety technologies, mobility development, and aftersales management with Sony’s specialties, including imaging, sensing, telecommunication, network, and entertainment. Both brands aim to establish a new generation of mobility and services that are closely aligned with users and the environment. The new company also aims to grow by continuing to evolve as needed moving forward.
Sony Honda Mobility is new joint venture between Sony and Honda
Sony and Honda aim to establish the new joint venture before the end of 2022 and begin BEV sales and mobility services by 2025. Its planned headquarters will be in Tokyo, Japan while its initial capital investment is 10 billion yen, which translates to $75.3 million. “Honda continues to take on new challenges in the environmental, safety, and other advanced fields in order to be a driving force for social change through mobility, and become the power that supports people around the world who are trying to do things based on their own initiative,” said Toshihiro Mibe, CEO of Honda. “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.”
Both companies will have high-ranking executives on the joint venture’s board. Yasuhide Mizuno, Senior Managing Officer at Honda will be the Representative Director, Chairman, and CEO. Izumi Kawanishi, an Executive Vice President at Sony, will serve as Representative Director, President, and COO.
This marks Sony’s entry into the automotive space, a move that it has hinted at for some time. The first was the Sony Vision-S 01 concept car first shown at the 2021 CES Show. Built by Magna for Sony, it features SAE Level 4 autonomous driving capability and has a top speed of 149 mph. One year later at the 2022 CES Show, Sony introduced a crossover called the Vision-S 02. Both vehicles used two electric motors making 536 hp combined but Sony didn’t disclose its battery size. Like its sedan sibling, the Vision-S 02 also got a full helping of driver assistance features plus extras like an air suspension, 5G connectivity, and over-the-air (OTA) update compatibility.
For Honda, this will be its second partnership following its first with General Motors. That partnership will see the co-development of two BEVs for North America, the Prologue and a yet-to-be-named Acura model. Both vehicles will debut in 2024 and be underpinned by General Motors’ Ultium suite, which will be used in different vehicle types ranging from the GMC Hummer EV and Cadillac Celestiq to the Chevrolet Equinox EV and Buick’s upcoming Buick Electra subbrand. However, Honda is also developing BEVs in-house starting with a new platform called the e: Architecture. It will also continue working with General Motors to develop a line of affordable BEVs across different segments starting in 2027. By 2030, Honda will launch 30 fully-electric vehicles globally.