Sony seeks new partners for transformative EV project – executive

  • Sony seeks partners to turn cars into entertainment spaces
  • Transformation of cars similar to the rise of smartphones

TOKYO, Jan 21 (Reuters) – Sony Group (6758.T) is likely to add new technology partners to its electric vehicle (EV) project to help it forge a mobility company to turn cars into transportation machines into entertainment spaces, said a Sony executive. Reuters.

The continued shift to electric cars, which are easier to build than those with internal combustion engines, is allowing new entrants to get into vehicle manufacturing. At the same time, autonomous driving and 5G connectivity are expected to reshape the automotive industry by transforming cars into mobile platforms for information, entertainment and shared mobility services.

“We consider the risk of ignoring electric vehicles to be greater than the challenge they pose,” said Izumi Kawanishi, Sony’s senior managing director who will manage a new Sony Mobility business, in an interview. The coming transformation of cars was in some ways similar to how information technology transformed phones into smartphones, he added.

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Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida at the CES tech show in Las Vegas this month announced the creation of Sony Mobility, suggesting for the first time that it will attempt to turn an electric vehicle development project launched a while ago two years in a lucrative business. Read more

Sony has so far built two prototypes with a factory in Austria owned by Canadian auto parts maker Magna International (MG.TO), which also makes cars for companies including BMW, Mercedes Benz and Toyota Motor Corp.

Other members of its Europe-based project include German auto parts maker Bosch, French automotive technology company Valeo SE and Hungarian self-driving vehicle start-up AImotive.

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Reporting by Tim Kelly and Shinji Kitamura; Editing by Christian Schmollinger

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