TOKYO – Honda Motor Co., in the midst of a radical corporate makeover, will team with Japanese electronics giant Sony Corp. on a new joint venture to develop and sell electric vehicles.
Under the memorandum of understanding, announced March 4 by Honda and Sony, the companies will form a new company this year to create and commercialize “high value-added” battery electrics.
Honda and Sony want the new company, yet to be named, to start sales in 2025. A Honda spokeswoman said the new company would sell its vehicles in the U.S., Japan and Europe, but added that production sites are still under consideration. Honda declined a volume target.
Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe said the initial enterprise is expected to be small. But the Honda boss said that tying up with a tech company was crucial to innovating the business.
"This is maybe an unprecedented approach," Mibe said at press conference held with Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida. "It was so difficult to take a bold step outside. But through this new joint venture, we can create new, unexpected value, stimulating the strategy of Honda.
"It's like a chemical reaction, combining Honda and Sony," he said.
Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said that new mobility technology will be the "megatrend" of the next decade, just as the advent of smartphones was over the past 10 years.
"Going forward, mobility will become increasingly similar to the mobile sector, from the perspective of both technology and the business model," Yoshida said.