The new joint venture will see its debut electric car hit the road by 2026
Earlier this year, electronics brand Sony and car manufacturer Honda announced they would form a partnership, creating Sony Honda Mobility Inc. The new company will focus on developing and selling electric vehicles in the future, with the first cars from the partnership set to go on sale in 2026.
The plan for the new company, due to be established in 2022, is to “engage in the joint development and sales of high value-added battery electric vehicles and commercialise them in conjunction with providing mobility services”.
- ‘Sony’s arrival as a car maker could be the most exciting in ages’
Sony Honda Mobility Inc now claims its first car will be unveiled in Las Vegas on 4 January 2023 ahead of the Consumer Electronic Show on the 5 January. In a teaser video, the firm gives a very slight glimpse of the car, highlighting what looks to be the bonnet and a door edge. Honda’s expertise in production means it will take responsibility for vehicle manufacturing. Sony will bring to the table digital services for a future mobility platform.
Pre-orders for the new car should start from the beginning of 2025, with sales starting before the end of 2025. The car will be manufactured at Honda’s North American factory and the US will be the first to receive Sony Honda Mobility Inc’s car in Spring 2026.
The firm says it will focus on ‘the three As’, which stand for autonomy, augmentation and affinity. Level three autonomy is one objective, meaning drivers can take their hands off the steering wheel. ‘Augmentation’ will focus on delivering more entertainment through virtual reality technology and ‘Affinity’ will look at building an “interactive mobility society” to help with aftersales.
Sony has previously stated its intentions of becoming a car brand by revealing its Vision S 02 concept car (pictured) at CES in Las Vegas earlier this year. The seven-seat, 4.85-metre-long prototype SUV is powered by a pair of electric motors for a total of 563bhp, offering a 0-62mph time of less than five seconds. Battery technology, size and a predicted range were not disclosed when Sony revealed the Vision S 02, alongside forming a new company, called Sony Mobility Inc.
Images of the Vision S 02’s interior revealed similar design cues to the brand’s original Vision-S concept, with a full-width high-definition display instead of a conventional fascia, and headrest screens for second-row passengers. There’s also a rotary dial in the middle of the third row – potentially allowing those in the sixth and seventh seats to control audio or multimedia functions. Whether or not the new electric car from Sony Honda Mobility Inc will take inspiration from the Vision S 02 remains to be seen.
Commenting on the announcement of the new company, Toshihiro Mibe, Director, President, Representative Executive Officer and CEO of Honda Motor Co. said, “We are very pleased to have signed a joint venture agreement with Sony, which has strengths in advanced digital technology, and shares our desire to take on new challenges.”
Kenichiro Yoshida, CEO of Sony added, “We are excited to have met a partner, Honda, with extensive global achievements and knowledge, and to sign the joint venture agreement between the two companies. Going forward, we aim to contribute to the evolution of mobility by combining Honda’s cutting-edge environmental and safety technologies, mobility development capabilities, vehicle body manufacturing technology and after-sales service management experience, with our expertise in imaging, sensing, telecommunication, network and entertainment technologies.”
Click here to read more about Sony’s all-electric Vision S 02 concept…
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