Sony and Honda plan electric vehicle tie-up to take on Tesla

Joint venture shows how Japanese companies are trying to catch up in the race for EV dominance

Sony and Honda said they would form a joint venture to produce electric vehicles in a deal bringing together two of Japan's most storied industrial names to take on Tesla, emerging Chinese players and traditional carmakers.

Targeting the high valuations Tesla and other EV makers achieved before the recent sell-off in technology stocks, chief executives of both companies told reporters in Tokyo on Friday they would be open to floating the joint venture on public markets.

The blockbuster tie-up underscores how Japanese companies are working to catch up in the global race for EV dominance, with Honda's domestic rivals, Toyota and Nissan, both announcing spending plans worth tens of billions of dollars at the end of last year.

Formidable

It will also allow Sony to deploy its formidable sensor technology that is critical for autonomous driving, as it works to reclaim its top position in consumer electronics after being undermined by competitors including Samsung.

The company is expected to be established this year with sales of the first EV due to start in 2025.

Honda said it would take responsibility for manufacturing the first EV model at its plant, while Sony said it would develop the mobility service platform for the new company. The platform could be used by Honda and potentially sold on to other carmakers. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2022

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