Honda and Sony will form a joint venture to build electric cars and “create a new era of mobility and mobility services”, the two Japanese firms have announced.
In a statement, they said they would move forward with forming a new company together later this year, with their first EV projected to go on sale in 2025.
The new company will plan, design, develop and sell its own EVs but won't own or operate manufacturing facilities.
Honda will manufacture the first EV at one of its factories, while Sony will develop a new platform for mobility services.
“The new company will aim to stand at the forefront of innovation, evolution and expansion of mobility around the world by taking a broad and ambitious approach to creating value that exceeds the expectations and imagination of customers,” said Honda president Toshihiro Mibe.
“We will do so by leveraging Honda’s cutting-edge technology and knowhow in relation to the environment and safety while aligning the technological assets of both companies.
“Although Sony and Honda are companies that share many historical and cultural similarities, our areas of technological expertise are very different. Therefore I believe this alliance, which brings together the strengths of our two companies, offers great possibilities for the future of mobility.”
Technology giant Sony confirmed its plans to enter the EV market back in January, revealing a pair of bespoke EVs and plans to launch a new operating company called Sony Mobility Inc this spring.
One of its concepts, the Vision-S, has already started testing on public roads. The luxury saloon was made primarily to showcase Sony's autonomous driving and in-car entertainment systems. It's not yet clear whether it will go into production as part of this partnership with Honda.
“Sony’s purpose is to fill the world with emotion through the power of creativity and technology,” said Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida.
“Through this alliance with Honda, which has accumulated extensive global experience and achievements in the automobile industry over many years and continues to make revolutionary advancements in this field, we intend to build on our vision to make the mobility space an emotional one and contribute to the evolution of mobility centred around safety, entertainment and adaptability.”