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Sony Honda will make premium EVs in North America from 2025

Sony Group Corp. and Honda Motor will target the premium electric vehicle market through their joint mobility venture.

Sony Group Corp. and Honda Motor Co. will target the premium electric vehicle market through their joint mobility venture in 2025, as the two seek to gain ground in a field already packed with previous entrants such as Tesla Inc.

Sony Honda Mobility Inc. will manufacture its EVs at Honda’s North American facilities, and sales and personalization will take place primarily online, CEO Yasuhide Mizuno said at a news conference Thursday. The company will ship cars to customers in North America first in 2026, with delivery in Japan in the second half of 2026, he said. Sales in Europe would be next.

The two Japanese companies joined forces this year, trying to join forces to overtake rivals ranging from Tesla and Volkswagen AG to upstarts like China’s Xiaomi Corp. and Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group. Sony expects the partnership to provide access to Honda’s decades-long expertise in automotive manufacturing, sales and maintenance, while Honda seeks to leverage its partner’s expertise in entertainment, networking and sensors for autonomous vehicles.

Sony’s overall mobility efforts include Masayasu Ito, a former hardware architect who oversaw the development of the PlayStation game console.

Sony Honda, which will source materials for the cars primarily in North America, will host a showcase at CES in Las Vegas in January. Increasing technical protectionism is pushing more manufacturers to seek locally produced components. EVs are loaded with a wide variety of semiconductors, which have become the focus of a US-China technology race, with the US ramping up exports of chip companies to China.

The company will consider less expensive EV models in the future and isn’t ruling out production in other regions in the future, Mizuno said.

“We want to create a team that can win abroad,” said Izumi Kawanishi, Chief Operating Officer of Sony Honda Mobility. “Software will be our strength compared to our EV rivals.”

Shares in Sony, which have been looking for new sources of growth as it grapples with fears of a recession, closed 0.5% lower. Honda rose 1% after the announcement.

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