Japan’s Sony and Honda Motor on Thursday announced their 50-50 joint venture — Sony Honda Mobility — that will start selling electric cars in 2025.
Each company will invest 5 billion yen ($37.52 million) in the JV electric vehicles for global markets.
Honda, like bigger rival Toyota Motor, has been slower to shift to electric vehicles (EV) than global automakers and is under pressure from investors to make cars that are carbon-free and equipped with newer technology such as self-driving features.
The car maker, which only offers one EV, Honda e, plans to roll out 30 EV models and make some 2 million EVs annually by 2030.
Honda will bring its expertise in building and selling cars and Sony will add its software and technology chops.
Yasuhide Mizuno will serve as the JV’s chairman and CEO, and Izumi Kawanishi will be the president and chief operating officer.
Honda, maker of popular models such as Accord and Civic, is dealing with crimped margins as costs of raw materials have surged and a global chip crunch hurts production.
Honda earlier this year said it would develop a series of lower-priced EVs with General Motors, based on a new joint platform, expanding on plans for GM to begin building two electric SUVs for Honda starting in 2024.
“It will be interesting to wait and see if Sony’s EV plan could make a difference in a time where new entrants such as technology giant Foxconn are developing their EV manufacturing capabilities. EVs are likely to be much less defined by their powertrains but more by the strength of their technology packages and, here, Sony has the potential to make a big impact,” Bakar Sadik Agwan, Senior Automotive Consulting Analyst at GlobalData, said.