Sony and Honda recently announced plans to build EVs together, with Honda focusing on the manufacturing and Sony creating the mobility service platform. Now, it looks like the companies plan to make it a separate business. "We shared the view that it is better to make the joint venture independent, in the long run, rather than putting it under Sony or Honda," Sony President and CEO Kenichiro Yoshida told Nikkei.
Yoshida didn't provide more details, but did say it's a "possibility" that the companies may sell a stake in the joint venture or have an initial public offering. "I hope to be able to talk a little about it at some point in the near future," he added.
The companies announced the joint venture back in March. Sony said it aimed to "fill the world with emotion through the power of creativity and technology," likely via high-tech interiors and fancy entertainment systems. It added that it wants to create a mobility system "centered around safety, entertainment and adaptability."
Last year, Honda announced plans to shift its entire vehicle lineup to EVs and fuel-cell vehicles by 2040. As part of that, it's going to invest $40 billion and launch 30 new EVs by 2030. It's not yet clear how the Sony tie-up fits into those plans, but Honda is far behind rivals — its only true EV sold in the west is the niche, Europe-only Honda E.
Sony apparently believes that other tech companies like Apple may soon be jumping into the fray, and that EVs will become more connected much like gaming consoles or the company's Aibo robot dog. "Mobility is becoming more of a service," he said. "We want to contribute to the evolution of mobility by providing the basis with network functions."