With the advent of electric vehicles, and the technology that goes with them, we're seeing electronics companies reaching ever further into the automotive world. We’re in early days still of this movement, but it looks sure to gain momentum over the next few years and into the next decade.
There have been reports of possible plans over at Apple, but nothing has materialized so far. Where things are taking firmer shape is at Sony. A couple of years ago, the electronics giant actually presented a concept, but it stressed that it did not plan to start producing cars. Since then, however, the company has walked back that categorical declaration, and it looks for all the world like it has changed its mind.
The clearest indication of that is that Sony is moving forward hand-in-hand with another Japanese firm, car manufacturer Honda.
This past March, the two firms announced their intention to create a joint venture to build electric vehicles. Today, they confirmed that that venture will be run as an independent, stand-alone company.
“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-CEO Kenichiro Yoshida told Japanese daily Nikkei Asia.
Although he mentioned that the joint venture could be the subject of an initial public offering to issue shares, Kenichiro Yoshida did not elaborate on that possibility.
Sony and Honda's plan is to build and market the first vehicle by 2025. Honda will be responsible for assembling it inside one of its factories. Sony, meanwhile, will develop and supply the platform to Honda. It’s not yet known if the production version will have any connection with the Vision-S presented by Sony, but it’s safe to assume that some of its elements will be retained.
Sony has already presented two concepts in the past, the Vision-S sedan and the Vision-S SUV. Both were created in collaboration with major firms such as Magna Steyr, Bosch, ZF, Continental, Nvidia and Qualcomm.