Fri. Jan 21st, 2022

Sony is starting a new company to explore entry into the electric vehicle market, joining a long list of technology groups considering a move to the next generation car business.

Kenichiro Yoshida, Sony’s CEO, announced plans to open the subsidiary, called Sony Mobility, this spring at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which raised Japanese the group’s shares more than 4.5 percent.

The rise in share prices built on gains the previous day driven by the huge holiday season box office success of Sony Pictures’ film Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Sony has a prototype electric vehicle called the Vision-S sedan two years ago, which was primarily seen as a way to promote the batteries and sensors the group sells to other automakers. The Vision-S has been tested in Europe since 2020.

One Tokyo-based fund manager whose portfolio includes Sony said it was uncertain whether the push in electric vehicles represented a long-term positive for the company’s share, especially given its history of enthusiastic involvement in projects that yielded minimal profits .

Whether Sony planned to do the manufacturing itself would be critical, the fund manager added. “An outsourced model where Sony designs and builds a third party could be interesting. Sony trying to be the next Tesla would not be. I’m surprised Sony’s coming up with the news.”

Other analysts shared that curiosity about the boost to Sony’s shares, pointing out that the company’s interest in electric vehicles was Raised several years ago.

Yoshida on Tuesday unveiled the Vision-S 2, a sports utility vehicle with more room for the entertainment devices that Sony and other companies believe will become central to the driving experience.

In addition to seat speakers to create a “three-dimensional sound field” around passengers and panoramic screens, the car will stream both games and allow a remote connection to a PlayStation console.

David Gibson, a longtime Sony analyst at MST Financial, said the announcement was unlikely to represent a major strategic shift by the Japanese company, arguing that it was probably more about producing a showcase for its electronics components and systems to sell to automotive competitors. .

“It is no coincidence that they went with an SUV – much of the credibility that Sony is looking for will be on the robustness of their components and their suitability for major carmakers. “Car is a tough market to break into, and Sony seems to be betting that building a car is a good way to get noticed,” Gibson said.

Sony said other features would include the ability for drivers to adjust sounds produced by the car as the otherwise quiet battery engine changes speed. As well as traditional engine roar, the vehicle could theoretically emit voice samples, movie quotes or hoops of joy as the vehicle accelerates and brakes, a spokesman said.

Other technology companies have spent years experiment with cars without placing a vehicle on the market.

Google started working on self-driving cars in 2009 and appeal had a mysterious autonomous management project in the works.

Dyson, the British group known for its vacuum cleaners, deleted his electric vehicle project after determining it was not commercially viable.

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