Sony, an iconic electronics company known for making video game consoles and televisions, is gearing up to dabble in electric vehicles.
Its EV program started two years ago, but the company is now attracting partners who can help it develop and build roadworthy cars. It’s still unclear how far Sony will go with these efforts, but the pieces are falling into place for the company to launch a competitive EV business.
For Sony, the road to a viable electric vehicle is straight uphill. The company faces all the “normal” challenges and hurdles to building a successful automotive brand, including securing a functioning supply chain, manufacturing, testing, and more.
This is all in addition to the design phase and does not include the hundreds of additional employees Sony will need to recruit to fuel its EV efforts.
Sure, the company could fall back on contract manufacturing and other outsourcing solutions, but sustainable growth will eventually require Sony to shift to in-house production and development.
A risk to take?
Further difficulties lie ahead in the competitive landscape, where Sony will face all the traditional automakers as well as several well-funded startups, some of which have already started delivering new electric vehicles to customers.
That said, Sony has two prototypes and has already partnered with Magna International, which has a factory in Austria. Bosch and other major auto parts suppliers are on board, so many of the required parts are already in place or are in motion.
Why would Sony want to embark on such a difficult undertaking? The PlayStation maker sees an opportunity to increase revenue through subscription content services and other pay-as-you-go features that can be built into cars.
The company also recognizes that ignoring EVs is a risk, as its executives believe EVs are transforming the automotive industry in much the same way the iPhone did mobile phones more than a decade ago. .