Sony and Honda introduced the Afeela brand, under which they intend to sell electric vehicles in tandem across the Americas, Japan, and Europe beginning in 2026. The partners depend on leases that can last up to ten years. According to Automotive News, Yasuhide Mizuno, chairman and CEO of Sony Honda Mobility said the company expects purchasers to keep the vehicle for a long time because it can continuously be updated with new features. "Now, however, things will shift drastically. There are always new features and improvements made to this vehicle. We aim for a 5- to 10-year customer retention rate."
The Afeela electric sedan was showcased at CES this month and will be the company's debut vehicle. The mid-range automobile will have 45 sensors, including lidar, so it can eventually operate without a human driver. The emphasis should be on digital networking, enjoyment, and practicality for regular use.
Though Mizuno admits that "the car itself is a bit pricey," they will not be overly burdened by the monthly rental costs. Renters can forgo updates to reduce their monthly cost over time, or they can accept enhancements such as those made to the car's entertainment and driver assistance systems and continue paying the same rental rate during the vehicle's term of use.
Mizuno, who used to work for Honda, claims that collaborating with the electronics giant will help Honda strengthen its "weak point" in software competence. Honda does not have any entertainment or music content, or sensing technology. Yet Sony owns them. Simply put, this is a winning combo.
Sony, meantime, gains knowledge of the auto industry thanks to the supplier of its new electric e:Architecture for Afeela vehicles. The United States is favored as the site of production. The release of Afeela's debut album is scheduled for the latter half of 2026/early 2027 in Europe. Subsequently, we plan to release an SUV, a second sedan, and maybe even a minivan, all of which will be electric variants of the initial sedan.