Now that the auto industry is shifting to electric cars, Honda is looking for help. And it’s happy to take that help from rival carmakers. The Japanese auto giant reportedly will not turn away competitors looking for new “strategic alliances,” according to a report from Bloomberg.
Honda’s CEO, Toshihiro Mibe, said in an interview that he thinks carmakers working together would benefit the industry, and he explained that the Japanese carmaker’s having a little trouble with its EV software development:
“It will be extremely risky for Honda to push the move alone,” Chief Executive Officer Toshihiro Mibe said in an interview Tuesday. “It’s meaningful to form alliances, mass-produce and lower costs to make our business sustainable.”
“Even if we make the electric cars, it’ll be extremely hard for Honda to develop software alone,” said Mibe, who helped lead R&D efforts at the company prior to becoming CEO in April. “Honda won’t hesitate to form alliances with companies that are strong in their field if that creates value promptly.”
The partnerships Honda says it’s looking for are not at all uncommon. These are already happening across the industry. In the report, Bloomberg mentioned a few examples, on top of the one already underway between Honda and GM:
- Volkswagen and Ford
- PSA Group and Fiat Chrysler
- Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi
Honda’s benefitting from similar partnerships in adjacent markets, too, like with its electric motorcycles. Recall that it joined a consortium to standardize swappable batteries in electric two-wheelers recently. A similar consortium for electric passenger cars would be great, covering software and hardware alike.
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Mibe swerved around the idea that carmakers should set standards for EVs and apply these together, but given how helpful that would be for both drivers and the industry, maybe he shouldn’t have.