Sony Honda Mobility: Huh?

By Gary S. Vasilash

That Sony and Honda announced last fall that they were forming Sony Honda Mobility was certainly curious. Perhaps Sony execs felt a compulsion to get into automotive because its long-time rival Panasonic has been supplying electric vehicle batteries for the past several years, and it wanted to get into the vehicle space, as well.

And as for Honda—well, given that it is a comparatively small OEM, it needs to establish partnerships where it can, so having already signed up with GM, going with Sony is probably considered to be a useful thing for no other reason than the electronics manufacturer has lots of tech, and that’s certainly useful to an OEM.

AFEELA prototype: yes, a sedan. (Image: Sony Honda Mobility)

SHM revealed the name of its new brand, AFEELA, and a prototype vehicle to accompany it. While there are some who criticize the name, odds are people looked askance at “Trinitron” back in 1968 and “Acura” in 1986.

But here’s a curious thing about it:

The company says that it aims “to create a new mobility lifestyle by leading people’s hearts and minds towards an open, pleasant and exciting experience. To realize this, we aim to revolutionize the mobility space as a Mobility Tech Company, alongside like-minded people who are pioneering a new future with creativity, through cutting-edge technology, and with passion.”

And it introduced a car.

Somehow the goals and the delivery mechanism seem rather disconnected.

A car.

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