TOKYO — Honda Motor Co. is kicking off the year with back-to-back investments in U.S. high-tech companies as the automaker scrambles for know-how in a changing industry — one developing next-generation batteries for electric vehicles, the other an artificial intelligence startup heavy into image recognition.
The overseas outreach comes as Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe races to remake the carmaker into a zero-emissions player and build new partnerships to provide technology it lacks. Japan's No. 3 automaker announced both tie-ups separately last week.
"If holding shares becomes necessary as part of that, then we would need to consider that, too," Mibe told Automotive News late last year.