TOKYO – Honda Motor Co. CEO Toshihiro Mibe repeated the go-it-alone automaker’s message Friday that, when it comes to joining the race to electric vehicles, Honda is ready to rely on partners.
It is a sea change for the fiercely independent Japanese carmaker, and Mibe, who took the CEO job in April, wants to make sure the industry knows that Honda is now open for outside alliances.
"If through an alliance Honda can accomplish early what it should aim to be, then we'd be willing to form an alliance," Mibe told a press briefing.
Honda and General Motors now plan to introduce two jointly developed large-sized EV models in 2024 in North America using GM's Ultium batteries and Honda will launch a series of new models built on a dedicated platform called "e:Architecture."
The two companies also are collaborating on autonomous vehicles and fuel-cell vehicle technology, and are exploring more ways to expand their alliance.
Mibe's new message reflects the pressure on automakers to share technology and costs to meet demands for cleaner vehicles. He has assumed the top role at Japan's second-largest automaker at a time of a growing shift in automobile technology to EVs and autonomous driving.