CES 2022: Sony Mulls Electric Vehicle Entry

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Sony car? Japanese giant seeks to capitalise on sensor and entertainment expert with possible entry into the electric vehicle market

Japan’s Sony Corporation is reportedly planning to launch a company in the spring to examine a potential entry into the electric vehicle (EV) market.

According to the Reuters report, Sony is seeking to capitalise on its expertise in sensors and entertainment, and the role these technologies could play in future transportation vehicles.

Sony chairman and president Kenichiro Yoshida reportedly told a news conference, ahead of the CES technology trade fair in Las Vegas, that the new company would be called Sony Mobility Inc, to assist as the Japanese tech giant as it is “exploring a commercial launch” of electric vehicles.

 

Sony car?

“With our imaging and sensing, cloud, 5G and entertainment technologies combined with our contents mastery, we believe Sony is well positioned as a creative entertainment company to redefine mobility,” Yoshida was quoted as saying.

Sony it should be remembered is serious player in the gaming and entertainment sectors.

Indeed, the Japanese firm reportedly still has a great deal of sophisticated technology in areas such as sensors, which of course are critical to autonomous driving and driver assistance systems.

Sony also remains one of the world’s biggest entertainment companies, and is the owner of many prominent video game and movie franchises.

The Reuters report points out that audio and entertainment systems are increasingly a focus for next-generation vehicles.

And it seems investors were pleased by Sony’s announced intentions to explore a possible EV entry.

Shares in Sony jumped 4.2 percent in Tokyo after the EV plans were announced.

According to Reuters, Sony’s Yoshida also unveiled a prototype sport utility vehicle (SUV), called the VISION-S 02, at the news conference.

The VISION-S 02 SUV reportedly uses the same electric vehicle platform as the previously announced coupe that began testing on public roads in Europe from December 2020.

Sony’s chairman and president also reportedly said the company saw mobility as an “entertainment space” where passengers could chose individual entertainment options and use 5G internet connection.

Chip access

And Sony could gain easier access to the vital chips needed for an EV move.

It should be remembered that in October 2021, chip contracting giant Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) confirmed plans to build a new factory in Japan, in conjunction with Sony, alongside an investment from the Japanese government.

Construction of the new plant is expected to begin this year, but actual chip production is only slated for 2024.

This fast build time for the factory is because the facility will be setup to use older chip making technology, to product the older chips that are in huge demand from car makers and consumer device makers.

Another point to note is that investors are increasingly attracted to the EV space, after Tesla over the past couple of years overtook established car brands including Toyota, Ford, and Volkswagen, to become the most valuable car manufacturer in the world.

And it should be remembered that Apple is also expected to launch its own vehicle within the next few years as well.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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