Honda: Partnering with IT companies in Japan, the U.S., and China on advanced technologies

Honda China’s sales volumes grows 2.3 times over past 5 years



Accord sibling car 'Inspire', released by Dongfeng Honda in the second half of 2018 (Beijing Motor Show 2018)

 This report provides an overview of Honda's China operations and autonomous driving and electrification initiatives (Honda’s "open innovation" strategy) underway in various partnerships with companies in fields such as the IT industry in Japan, the U.S.and China.

 Honda China's sales (factory shipments) increased by 2.3 times during the five years from 2012 to 2017. The introduction of sibling cars in 2014 (China-specific models based on the same platform, and manufactured and sold by the Guangzhou Honda and Dongfeng Honda joint ventures) has contributed to success of Honda China’s operations. However, in early 2018 the CR-V was recalled, resulting in a 2.1% decrease in sales volumes over the January to August timeframe compared to the same period in the previous year (retail sales were down 7.1%).

 Honda has announced its plans to replace two thirds of the vehicles it sells globally with electrified vehicles by 2030 (about 15% FCVs and EVs, and more than 50% PHVs and HVs). Honda plans to introduce more than 20 new models of electric powered vehicles in the Chinese market by 2025.

Regarding autonomous driving, Honda aims to put into practical use autonomous driving technologies for multi-lane highway driving in 2020, and to establish Level 4 capability technologies for personal car use in 2025.

 To that end, Honda is promoting "open innovation" to cooperate with a number of cutting edge companies in fields such as the IT industry. The second half of this report covers some of the various partnerships that Honda is promoting in Japan, the U.S., and China. In the U.S. and Japan, Honda has partnered with Alphabet’s Waymo (automated driving), SoftBank (AI and 5G communications), GM (lithium-ion battery and hydrogen fuel cell system), and others. In China, where Honda is particularly focused, the automaker is collaborating extensively with companies such as Neusoft (core electrification technologies), Reachstar (car sharing), CATL (EV drive batteries), Baidu (automated driving), and SenseTime (artificial intelligence (AI)).


Related report:
Honda's Product Plans: Aggressive introduction of electrified vehicles (September 2018)