TOKYO – Honda dealers in the U.S. will likely have a hand in servicing, but not selling, the new wave of electric vehicles coming from the company's new joint venture with Sony.
That's the message from Honda executives at headquarters in Japan.
Speaking at the company’s financial results announcement Wednesday, CFO Kohei Takeuchi said the sales model will be a completely new one, echoing early talk of an online approach.
"It will be something unconventional, not Sony, not Honda, but something new," he said.
Takeuchi said the sales and servicing plan is still under discussion. But he added Honda has a network of more than 1,000 U.S. dealers who are well situated to service the new cars.
Honda and Sony outlined plans last month to deliver the joint venture's first EVs to U.S. customers in the spring of 2026. The new partnership, called Sony Honda Mobility Inc., will build the vehicles at Honda's planned EV manufacturing hub in Ohio.
Honda's U.S. dealers raised questions about the new venture, saying they wanted a piece of the action.
Takeuchi said North America is an emerging weak link in Honda's global recovery plans.
Ongoing shortages of semiconductors specifically needed for the Civic small car and CR-V crossover have forced the Japanese carmaker to lower its regional sales forecast.
Meanwhile, the company says inflation and recession talk in the U.S. are likely to hit market sentiment. For the time being, Honda thinks demand remains strong for its vehicles, thanks largely to the fact that pinched production has whittled down inventories.
But Takeuchi warned that the softening economy is a risk to watch.
Honda is having trouble sourcing specific chips needed for the Civic and CR-V in North America, two of the company's most popular nameplates.