Honda, the lads that bought you VTEC, and Sony, the boys who bought you the PlayStation, are starting a new electric car business together this year.
Yet to be named but what should really be called ‘Sonya’, the joint venture aims to sell futuristic EVs by 2025.
Honda will provide its design engineers and the assembly plant. Sony will offer its technical expertise to build an EV platform.
It’s a deal that works for both parties. Honda has plans to outmuscle their Japanese rivals in the role of EV dominator. Sony, meanwhile, has long wanted to break into the automotive industry and now have the manufacturing ability to do so.
In 2020, Sony unveiled their Vision-S prototype, an all-electric sedan that uses two 200kW motors. They also recently revealed the Vision-S O2, a seven-seat SUV iteration of the Vision-S.
Neither are actual ‘cars’ but more testbeds for Sony to develop future automotive tech.
Still, whether the new partnership goes straight into designing a production-ready version of Sony’s prototypes is not unknown. But given they have chalked out a plan to begin selling cars within three years, and Honda have now come onboard, it is possible.
Sony has also said they will offer their EV software to other carmakers once the Honda collaboration gets off and running.
“Cars are a new area to us so we needed a partner,” Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said.
“Honda is a great partner as it has high technological capabilities as well as a corporate culture of challenging new things.”
Some EV commentators have argued the partnership is Honda’s way of challenging Tesla. However, neither Honda nor Sony discussed what their strategic plan might look like at the launch.
Instead, they said the new business will target “creating new values” for the EV world, not necessarily large sales figures.