Honda must have a hard time, because the automaker has teamed up with a quasi-strange bedfellow for the purpose of building and selling electric vehicles.
Honda on Friday announced a new joint venture with Sony. The currently unnamed joint venture (referred to as New Company throughout the press release, which is kind of a cool name itself) will work toward, as the press release states, "the joint development and sales of high value-added battery electric vehicles." Negotiations are still ongoing, but the hope is that the new JV will be fully established some time this year.
The two Japanese companies believe their first jointly produced EVs will go on sale in 2025. Honda will be in charge of manufacturing these vehicles at its own facilities, but the pair will work together on planning, design, development and sales. Sony will also be responsible for a "mobility service platform," according to the release, but no further detail was provided there.
"Although Sony and Honda are companies that share many historical and cultural similarities, our areas of technological expertise are very different," Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe said in a statement. "Therefore, I believe this alliance which brings together the strengths of our two companies offers great possibilities for the future of mobility."
So what will Sony bring to the table, aside from the service platform? According to Honda's statement, it will lend "expertise in the development and application of imaging, sensing, telecommunication, network and entertainment technologies." Thus, most of the interfacing with Sony's side of things will likely come through the in-cabin experience, whether that's using parking sensors to slide into a spot or possibly finding something to stream (or play, presumably) to keep the kids busy on a long road trip. It's all still vague, so there will be a lot of sitting and waiting to find out more.
This isn't the first time we've seen Sony's desire to break into the automotive market. At, the company , an electric crossover that borrows its platform from Sony's first EV concept, the Vision-S sedan. It's about the same size as a Tesla Model Y, with a dashboard that's almost entirely screen and multiple other displays scattered around the first and second row.