Car companies are becoming more and more like tech companies. Many new cars have everything from Wi-Fi to the go-to personal assistants that you can control with your voice.
Technology companies often talk about how they want to make cars. From the long-rumored Apple Car to Google’s WayMo robotaxi project, consumer technology companies seem to be just as likely to try to make cars as they are to make consumer technology.
So, the car made by Sony and Honda makes sense.
Back in March, the two companies said they would work together on a line of electric vehicles (EVs). They have now made their marriage official.
The joint venture will be called Sony Honda Mobility (at least on paper; we expect a better name and logo by the time this is a badge on a car). Each parent will give the new business $37.52 million. They plan to make their first EV in the year 2025. They hope to sell cars in the United States, Japan, and Europe.
In a press release, the partners say, “The new company will aim to bring together Honda’s cutting-edge environmental and safety technologies, mobility development capabilities, vehicle body manufacturing technology, and after-sales service management experience, with Sony’s expertise in the development and application of imaging, sensing, telecommunication, network, and entertainment technologies.”
However, we may have seen the cars already.
At the CES electronics show in January, Sony showed off two electric car ideas. One was a sedan, and the other was an SUV. It’s not clear if the products made by the joint venture will be based on those cars.
The team-up is not very clear. Honda has said that by 2040, it will only sell electric cars and cars that run on hydrogen fuel cells. The idea is that Sony and Honda could work together to sell cars through Honda’s network of dealerships. But then Sony Honda Mobility products would be competing with Honda products on the Honda sales floor.
So the two companies might choose to sell their products only online, as Tesla, Rivian, and Lucid do. Some car companies with a long history are talking openly about switching to a similar model.