Sony open to entering auto industry

The electronics giant would probably partner with an existing automaker.

Electronics giant Sony is open to the idea of entering the automaking field. If they decide to jump into an increasingly tech-heavy field that sees companies such as Apple and Google looking to carve out a slice, they may do so by partnering with an existing automaker.

Sony already has plans to expand its camera sensors, currently used in smartphones, into cars. Recently, the company has made moves that expand its business into fields diverse as real estate and education, prompting the question about an automotive foray. Though CEO Kazuo Hirai said in an interview with the Financial Times, that "We don't have plans at this point," he added, "but never say never."

He also stated, "If we fundamentally believe at some point in time that we can make a difference in the automotive space, it's something that we will look at,” and acknowledged that the emergence of electric cars such as Tesla have opened doors for news players in the auto industry. In addition to its sensors, Sony already has its toes in technologies such as lithium-ion rechargeable batteries and artificial intelligence used in helper robots similar to Honda's ASIMO.

Hirai also believes that newcomers to the auto industry have not sufficiently considered the "emotional value" that car buyers look for. Sony believes its consumer electronics do resonate emotionally with customers, and reiterated "never say never" when pressed about a tie-up with an existing automaker.

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