Sony Honda Mobility, a newly formed company by Sony Group and Honda Motor Company, announced Oct. 13 plans to begin delivering premium electric vehicles (EVs) in 2026.
But establishing a market presence through software-driven luxury electric vehicles can be difficult. At present, the brands offered by Tesla in the United States and European automakers are leading this segment, and other auto giants are planning to launch their own software to improve the functionality and value of Internet-connected cars, also around the same time.
As European, American and Chinese companies take the lead in electric vehicles, Sony Honda Mobility is targeting the luxury market. Tesla, the world’s largest automaker by market share, has steadily increased sales of luxury vehicles by leveraging its existing business. European automakers such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW are also keen to attract high-value customers willing to spend more on automotive innovation.
Sony Honda Mobility came late to the market. President and COO Izumi Kawanishi said at a press conference on October 13, “Cars have always competed on mechanical elements such as driving performance. We aim to add value to create a competitive electric vehicle in the market.
Kawanishi said Sony Honda Mobility’s automotive platform would be connected to the internet. The new car company promises self-driving features using sensor technology, one of Sony’s strengths, and ways to deliver a more personalized in-car environment with entertainment and comfort. It will even have access to the metaverse to “create new communities in the mobile space”.
Chairman and CEO Yasuhide Mizuno said, “We want to deliver high value-added products and services that challenge conventional thinking” through collaboration with highly specialized partner companies and creative individuals.
Competition is fierce to produce more “connected cars” that connect occupants to the outside world. Automotive functions will be continuously updated with new software, such as smartphone updates. Toyota Motor Corporation, Volkswagen of Germany, and General Motors of the United States will each introduce in-car software products around 2025, and Apple’s entry into the automotive market is also highly anticipated.
Sony Honda Mobility promotes the development of software-driven vehicles under the slogan “Mobility Tech Company”. To compete in the luxury electric vehicle market, Sony Honda Mobility must demonstrate a level of competitiveness in software and service development that surpasses that of its competitors.
(Read the article in Japanese on this link.)
Author: Gen Koganezaki