March 4, 2022
JAPAN—Sony and Honda are teaming up for a strategic alliance. The two Japanese conglomerates are creating a new joint venture that will design and sell several high-end electric vehicles and mobility services, the first EV is scheduled to go on sale in 2025.
Honda will be responsible for manufacturing, while Sony will develop and provide tech-focused expertise. Sony developed the world’s first commercially available lithium-ion battery in 1991, revolutionizing mobile tech.
The Japanese plan to capitalize on Tesla’s reliance on Japanese technology—very similar to what Samsung did to Apple over 10 years ago. Samsung very early on provided most of the parts and technology to create the first iPhone.
As a consequence, Samsung—with the help of Google’s Android platform—eventually overtook Apple as the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer.
“I’m going to destroy Android because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this,” Apple CEO Steve Jobs famously quoted at the time.
Tesla currently relies on Panasonic, Fuji Technica, Miyazu, and Sony for its EVs.
“In the joint venture, we would like to lead the mobility evolution by combining our technology and experience with Honda’s long experience in mobility development and vehicle body manufacturing technologies,” Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida stated.
Tesla is in the midst of integrating Sony’s IMX Camera system into its vehicles, which is unrivaled in HDR technology. Apple already uses three new Sony camera sensors for its iPhones and Hollywood has long depended on Sony’s Betamax, DVD, Blu-Ray, and 4K technology.
Needless to say, Sony is experienced in camera and sensor technology.
Both Honda and Sony did not express any wishes to take the new joint venture public, however, they did not rule out adding future partners into the venture.
Honda has had several solo and joint ventures that have dominated the automobile and motorcycle world. Most notably was the McLaren-Honda MP4/4 in the late 80s, the most dominant race car ever created. The Honda-powered McLaren won 15 out of 16 Grand Prix in a single season, completely humiliating Ferrari.
“In the future, we would like to expand our business with an open mindset,” Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe stated.
Honda stated in 2021 that it’s committed to only selling battery-electric and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles by 2040. They plan on gradually increasing EV production over the next two decades and scale down production on internal-combustion vehicles, according to Car and Driver.
Feature Images via Sony