Sony and Honda on Friday announced their plans to form a new electric car company, with the expectation that the new company would bring its first "high value-added" battery electric vehicle to market by 2025. While Honda brings its car manufacturing capabilities to the table, Sony is expected to develop a mobility service platform for the company.
The partnership underscores how dramatically the auto industry has evolved -- and continues to evolve -- thanks to improving battery technology, the advent of 5G and in-car connectivity, and other innovations. Traditional automakers in the last decade have formed a number of alliances with tech companies that see cars as yet another platform for reaching customers.
In a statement, Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said the new partnership will help Sony build on its vision "to 'make the mobility space an emotional one' and contribute to the evolution of mobility centered around safety, entertainment and adaptability."
For now, Honda and Sony said they have agreed to "deepen discussion" with the aim of establishing their new company this year. As they envision it, the new company would plan, design, develop, and sell the EVs. However, it would not own or operate manufacturing facilities, so Honda would be responsible for manufacturing the first EV model. Sony would help develop mobility services using its expertise in imaging, sensing, telecommunication, network and entertainment technologies.