In an exciting revelation, Honda and Sony have just announced plans to partner up and develop electric cars. The two Japanese companies have not yet announced the name of their upcoming entity. The vehicles will be manufactured in Honda’s facilities and Sony will provide the mobility service platform. Their goal is to team together this year and begin selling the first car in 2025.
While the joint venture is unique, the announcement is not entirely surprising, as there has been an international push for zero emission vehicles as well as systems that provide more advanced features. This gives tech companies like Sony an opportunity to enter the automobile market. Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida reiterated the vision, remarking: “In the joint venture, we would like to lead the mobility evolution by combining our technology and experience with Honda’s long experience in mobility development and vehicle body manufacturing technologies.” When asked about the possibility of others joining the partnership, Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe responded, “In the future, we would like to expand our business with an open mindset,” while adding that the focus remains on building the electric car model for now.
As of January 7, 2019, all those leaving Japan will be required to cough up an additional 1,000 yen (US$9). The money will be collected to improve tourism infrastructure in the country.
The levy, known as the International Tourist Tax, will be obligatory and all nationalities, regardless of the reason they are leaving the Japan. Tourists, businessmen, and any other traveler, as long as he or she is beyond 2 years old, will have the surcharge added to the price of their plane ticket.
Japanese authorities expect to raise about 50 billion yen. With the new money they plan to improve tourism infrastructure, including making the immigration process at the airport smoother, and encouraging visitors to go beyond the usual Tokyo and Kyoto stops during their stays in Japan.
The Asian democracy has been stepping up its marketing to the international tourist sector as a new source for its economic growth. In 2018 it is estimated that about 30 million foreigners visited Japan, the most ever. Many of the growth in tourism comes from Asian visitors, especially those arriving from China, South Korea and Taiwan. Japan is hoping that the coming Olympics will get the number of visitors to Japan up to 40 million by the year 2020.
According to Sony Corp’s China head Nobuki Kurita, the giant consumer electronic company’s business in China is “more or less” back to normal levels after recent protests in China against Japan’s actions related to a group of disputed islands.
Last September saw a significant decrease in sales of Sony products in China as calls for a boycott of Sony reverberated in response to the nationalization of two islands in a group of islands under dispute in the East China Sea. In China these islands are called Diaoyu, and in Japan they are referred to as the Senkaku Islands. Japan nationalized these islands after they were purchased from private owners.
Because of the dispute relations between China and Japan were highly strained, adversely affecting sales of Japanese products in China. Kurita however believes that Japanese business in China should completely recover, showing a strong surge in the coming three years.
“My general impression is business conditions have more or less returned to the pre-crisis environment,” he told a media briefing at a Sony store in eastern Beijing.
Chief Executive of Nomura Holdings Inc, Koji Nagai promises to bring back the company’s international division to profitability by March of 2015, according to an announcement Nagai made on Tuesday.
The direction the chief wishes to take will refocus its business model on the Asian market while responding more to the needs of their clients. Nomura is one of the top brokerage houses in Japan.
Due to the paradigm shift Nomura will be forced to set aside its other goal of becoming a global investment bank since the firm’s management will need to cut costs by approximately $1 billion. Nagai insisted however that Nomura intends to remain a global player.
“Our customer’s needs are strongly spreading outward and we need to stay global,” said Mr. Nagai.
Expectations are high for the company’s various regions to be bringing in profits by the fiscal year which ends in March of 2015. The company has a pre-tax goal of 50 billion yen ($639 million) at its offshore operations by March of 2016.
“We’ve been saying we want to become an investment bank centered on Asia, but I don’t think we’ll make huge profits there right away at all.”
Hoping to put the fun back into Toyota cars, CEO Akio Toyoda popped out of a bright orange sports car which will be called the “86,” at the Fuji Speedway on Sunday.
In an unusual departure from the usual methodology of launching new car models, the 2-liter engine car, called the “86” (Hachi-roku) in Japan, or the GT86 in Europe, was sprung on the public at the foot of Mount Fuji instead of at the Tokyo Motor Show, which is due to open later in the week.
Toyota Motor Corporation unleashed its highly anticipated latest sports car model with the hope that its release will lead to a renaissance in Toyota’s development of a reputation as a producer of “fun” cars for the general market, which it hasn’t had in many years.
“We’ve made you wait a long time for this,” said Toyoda, dressed in a racing suit, addressing the crowd as he emerged from an orange 86. “At long last, here is a car for car lovers.”
Fun to Drive
Toyoda has seen his mission since he took the reins of the company in 2009 to lose Toyota’s boring image as a reliable, but not-too-exciting, car. Advertisements for Toyota have used slogans like “Fun to drive again,” and “Reborn,” asserting that the 86 is the vehicle to reach those goals.