Sony Group and Honda Motor have announced agreement to “deepen discussion and exploration of forming a strategic alliance that aims to create a new era of mobility and mobility services”.

They have signed a memorandum of understanding that outlines their intent to establish a joint venture (currently known as New Company) through which they plan to jointly develop and sell “high value-added” battery electric vehicles (EVs) and commercialise them in conjunction with providing mobility services.

The two companies will proceed with negotiations towards various definitive binding agreements, including a joint development agreement and a joint venture agreement, with a goal of establishing the new company this year.

This alliance aims to bring together Honda’s mobility development capabilities, vehicle body manufacturing technology and aftersales service management experience cultivated over many years, with Sony’s expertise in the development and application of imaging, sensing, telecommunication, network, and entertainment technology, to produce a new generation of mobility and services that are “closely aligned with users and the environment, and continue to evolve going forward”.

Sales of the first EV model are expected to start in 2025. The new JV is expected to plan, design, develop, and sell the EVs, but not own and operate manufacturing facilities, so Honda is expected to be responsible for manufacturing the first EV model at its vehicle manufacturing plant. It is expected that a mobility service platform will be developed by Sony and made available for the JV.

Kenichiro Yoshida, chairman, president and CEO, Sony Group, said in a statement: “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 centered around safety, entertainment and adaptability.”

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Toshihiro Mibe, CEO, Honda Motor, said: “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. We will do so by leveraging Honda’s cutting-edge technology and know-how 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.”