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.
Over the past twenty years, and especially the last ten, Mexico has been making major progress as a major exporter of cars and trucks to the United States. Although Japan and Canada still control the market share, Mexico has been making inroads that point to them surpassing and overtaking these wealthy first world countries as a major automobile supplier.
A new Honda plant is due to open later this week in Celaya, Mexico, in the central state of Guanajuato. At a cost of about $800 million, the factory will produce about 200,000 Fit hatchbacks per year. That will bring the total number of cars exported to the US from Mexico up to 1.7 million in 2014. That is about 200,000 more cars than the US will buy from Japan in 2014. And when another new plant begins production a week later, Mexico will take over Canada’s number spot as the largest seller of cars to the US in the world by 2015.
“It’s a safe bet,” said Eduardo Solis, president of the Mexican Automotive Industry Association. “Mexico is now one of the major global players in car manufacturing.”
The progress Mexico has been making can be traced back to the passage of the North American Trade Agreement, (NAFTA) which went into force on January 1, 1994. Back then Mexico made only 6 percent of all the cars manufactured in all of North America. Today they produce 19 percent. Since 2007 total Mexican car production rose 39 percent, to almost 3 million cars a year. The value of those exports to the US has soared from $40 billion per year in 2007 to $70.6 billion today.
The Mexican car industry is now the country’s major source of foreign currency, passing oil exports and cash Mexican migrants to the US send back home.
Come early next year Chrysler plans on unveiling a completely redesigned midsize car to replace its present cars in that niche, the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger. The new model is sorely needed if Chrysler wishes to be competitive in the most popular part of the US car market.
Company executives announced on Tuesday that the cars will be built in the same factory where the Avenger and 200 are built now, in Sterling Heights, Michigan, just north of Detroit.
The two models were first launched in 2006, with one update three years ago. Today they have the distinction of being the oldest cars in the midsize market. They are priced far below just about all their competitors, but they are also noisier, have less pleasant rides and worst of all, have poorer gas mileage than the more recently released competition, such as the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.
The midsize auto market is a fiercely competitive niche, responsible for the largest percentage of car sales in the country and Chrysler’s choices are not doing well.
Sales for the Avenger and the 200 reached 136,000 as of June, which is higher than last year’s sales, but still not enough to make the cut. Compare that figure to Toyota’s sale of close to 208,000 Camry’s, and Honda’s sale of 187,000 Accords, and you can see why Chrysler feels a need to change.
The new model will most certainly be built utilizing component parts designed together with the Italian car maker Fiat SpA, the majority owner of Chrysler.
The way to go with marketing these days – if you want to be up with top technological techniques – is SEO. Japanese car manufacturer Honda, could learn a thing or two from this marketing method. It is using just one website for different selling points. For example, whether you were looking to buy a used car or were just thinking about maybe becoming a new customer. This made things very confusing since if you would put in a Google search for Honda, you would be sent to their primary site and then you would have to spend time roaming it before reaching your particular area of interest.
Honda Hails SEO Help
So how did the extremely successful and popular Japanese car manufacturer solve this issue? It brought in the SEO experts who developed a “one size fits all solution.” What they did was set up a section that just focused on used cars and then redirected all traffic to that. They then established a map based on the user’s location so that if someone from the Sacramento area was looking for a car, the map would provide them with a list nearby and then put that potential new customer in contact with the current owner.
Higher Hits for Honda!
Well, Honda couldn’t have been happier with the results! In just a few months following their SEO work, their search queries escalated “from tens to thousands.”
SEO, SEM and SES Success
It seems that if you want to be any kind of success in today’s Internet market, the following acronyms need to mean something more than just a few letters. Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Strategies (SES) are today’s mandatory media tools.
Indeed, you just need to look at what’s been going on in India to have this theory proved. Figures for 2009-10 show that of the 785 crore* spent on online advertising market in the country, a staggering 368 crore of this was spent in the field of search advertising; this amount is expected to further increase for 460 crore for 2010-11.
So, no matter what business you are, if you want to market your product well and continue to grow, or to at least really start to put yourself out there, you could be well advised to become extremely familiar with SEO, SEM and SES.
*a unit in the Indian numbering system equalling ten million (10000000; 107), or 100 lakh.