That Long-Awaited Joint Venture Between Sony And Honda Has Officially Been Finalized

Morning Dump Sony Vision S 01

Sony and Honda finalize an EV deal, Citroën breaks out the beachwear, Ferrari firms up EV plans. All this and more on today’s issue of The Morning Dump.

Welcome to The Morning Dump, bite-sized stories corralled into a single article for your morning perusal. If your morning coffee’s working a little too well, pull up a throne and have a gander at the best of the rest of yesterday.

Sony And Honda Make It Official

Sony Vision S 01
Photo credit: Sony

Good news for anyone beguiled by Sony’s Vision-S 01 and 02 concept cars, it looks like some sort of Sony EV will officially see production. While Sony and Honda previously announced plans for a joint venture, those plans have now been finalized. According to a press release issued by Honda, the new joint venture company will be called Sony Honda Mobility Inc. and plans to produce electric vehicles in 2025.

Honestly, a three-year period to develop a production-spec EV, homologate said EV, establish a distribution network, and build a new assembly line seems fairly aggressive, but Sony’s been working on EV tech for a few years now, so it’s not quite the same as starting from scratch. What’s more, the joint venture seems to be taking an interesting approach on what mobility means, judging by a statement from planned President and COO Izumi Kawanishi.

“By combining the many strengths of Sony and Honda, we intend to accelerate development and lead the evolution of mobility by realizing mobility as an emotional space rooted in safety and security, and the related services.”

Honestly, this feels like the right approach. Forget robotaxis and owning nothing, cars should be sanctuaries of sorts, bubbles of personal space in a crowded world. As for what security actually means, it’ll be interesting to see Sony Honda Mobility’s interpretation of that word. A focus on cybersecurity would be huge considering how much data new cars collect, and Sony’s tech background means that such an interpretation isn’t out of the question. For now, I’m looking forward to 2025 as Sony Honda Mobility seems like one of the most promising new EV companies in a while.

Citroën Goes To The Beach

Citroen My Ami Buggy
Photo credit: Citroën

Is it just me, or are not enough companies making electric beach buggies? The concept sounds awesome, high-torque fun in the sand without spewing tailpipe emissions and noise. Thankfully, Citroën seems to be stepping up to the plate with the My Ami Buggy. I mean come on, how can you not love a dune buggy basically called the friend?

Oh, and while Citroën refers to this fun little toy as the My Ami Buggy numerous times in the press release, the special serialized plate on the dashboards adds onto that, calling this thing the My Ami Buggy ULTRA SPECIAL LIMITED EDITION. Don’t you just love to see it? Honestly, ultra special feels about right, seeing as Citroën is only planning to build 50 of the things. So what exactly do these 50 beach specials get over a standard Ami? Well, the khaki exterior finish is a great place to start, contrasted nicely by a gold set of wheels.

The standard Ami’s doors get ditched for a set of tube doors, while the roof is now a roll-back canvas affair, a bit like on a 2CV. Add in some wonderfully adorkable touches like lime green dashboard inserts and a mildly comedic rear spoiler, and you get one seriously cute vehicle. Well, when I say you get one seriously cute vehicle, I mean that if you live in France and manage to secure an online reservation on July 21, you can get your hands on one of these cute little guys. Pricing isn’t hideously expensive either, Citroën’s announced an MSRP of €9,790, or roughly $10,240. Yeah, I’d be getting in line too if I lived in France.

The Repo Man Doesn’t Knock

Car Dealership
Photo credit: “Row of Cars at a Car Dealership” by everycar_listed_photos is marked with CC BY-SA 2.0.

While the COVID-19 pandemic created a seriously weird car market, it also created some really unique conditions in the car loan market. According to credit reporting company Experian, car loan delinquencies were quite low through the third quarter of 2021, at 1.66 percent for 30-day delinquencies and 0.55 percent for 60-day delinquencies. That’s much, much lower than historical norms as reported by the U.S. Federal Reserve, although it seems like this era of low loan delinquency rates may be coming to a close.

Automotive News reports that Ford CFO John Lawler made some comments about rising loan delinquencies at the recent Deutsche Bank Global Auto Industry Conference. This rise isn’t a huge cause for concern, but rather part of a slow return to what are described as more normal delinquency rates. As Lawler said, “It seems like we’re reverting back more towards the mean.” Honestly, I’m not terribly surprised to hear that auto loan delinquencies are going back up. Inflation is squeezing the absolute bejeezus out of the average consumer, and massively-inflated car values hurt anyone entering the market. Hopefully cooling measures calm inflation’s gale-force headwind into more of a brisk breeze. Until then, maybe just keep an eye on the auto loan market and try to keep your current fleet going as long as possible.

Ferrari Reveals More Details On Electrification

Ferrari 296 Gtb
Photo credit: Ferrari

I feel like we all kind of knew that an electric Ferrari was coming at some point. After all, electric vehicles are a sound way for a car company to reduce its new vehicle fleet emissions and it’s hard to imagine the screaming V12 in the 812 Superfast as a particularly green powerplant. However, I’m not sure if anyone was expecting a Ferrari EV in the next three years or so.

According to a Reuters report, Ferrari Chief Executive Benedetto Vigna told investors on Thursday that Ferrari’s first all-electric vehicle is coming in 2025. A bit of a rapid shift considering the V12-powered Purosangue SUV is set to debut this September, but hey. Honestly, it makes sense if you take Ferrari’s projections into account. The brand believes that pure EVs will make up 40 percent of Ferrari sales in 2030, while hybrids will make up another 40 percent of sales. Helping fuel this charge is Ferrari’s plan to launch 15 new models between 2023 and 2026, rather grand ambitions for a boutique exotic car brand. More importantly, Ferrari sees a way to keep its soul while going electric. Chairman John Elkann seems really positive about electrification’s effect on Ferrari’s DNA, saying “The opportunity set of electrification and electronics will allow us to make even more unique cars.” Needless to say, this will be an interesting transformation to watch.

The Flush

Whelp, time to drop the lid on today’s edition of The Morning Dump. Happy Thursday everyone, Friday’s little brother is finally here. To celebrate, how about playing a little game? Let’s say you’re given unlimited money to build an eight-car collection. The only catch is that each car has to be from a different decade, starting in the 1950s and finishing with the 2020s. What eight cars are you choosing?

Lead photo credit: Sony

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43 Responses

  1. Now this is fun

    1950s: 1958 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser with Breezeway window. Second choice is a Plymouth Cranbrook 2 door.

    1960s: Toyota Stout or Corona. Close was a ’64 Ford Galaxy 500 2 door 4spd or a ’65 F-100 I-6/4spd.

    1970s: I picked a colonnade GM yesterday, so I’ll go with a 1978 Mercury Zephyr Z-7, 200 I-6, manual, full gauges.

    1980s: tough choice. 1986 Ford Taurus LX sedan. The game changer. Coulda picked an 87+ Bronco w/ 300 I-6.

    1990s again too many good choices. 1992 Ford Tempo LX V-6 5-speed. I had a ’92 LX, automatic though and I always wanted a manual. I’ll take green with grey interior. Mine was white with red interior, definitely not my personal choice, but I had little choice for a V-6 Tempo in 2001. A ’91-97 Explorer XLT 4WD 4 door 5 speed with the upgraded cloth interior is a close second. I already own an example of a second gen Taurus.

    2000s oh geeze. Not my era. A 2002 Accord EX 5 speed 4 cylinder sedan with cloth interior. Almost put a 5spd/4wd first gen Kia Sportage.

    2010s 2012 Ford Taurus SEL. Again, not my decade, but my mom has one and it’s a great car. I guess a 2016/17 Accord coupe 4 cylinder manual as a second choice. Last of its kind.

    2020s: I’ve picked a Bronco several times for these hypotheticals, so I suppose 2022 Ford Maverick XL AWD 4K tow in Area 51.

  2. I decided to make this first list more realistic than “cost no object”. I think I could pull this collection off if I so chose…
    50s: By far the most difficult as there’s not a whole lot I really lust after that’s affordable. But let’s say a mid-50s Studebaker Commander or Champion Coupe
    60s: 1968 Dodge Dart convertible with the 225 “leaning tower of power” (I have right of first refusal on one should it ever sell)
    70s: Square body Chevy pickup from the very early 70s with standard cab and 8 ft bed
    80s: Bitter SC (selling my ’88 Jaguar XJ6 to help finance it)
    90s: 2nd gen Honda CRX Si
    00s: The 2007 Suburban I already have is quite satisfactory, but an upgrade to a 2500 version with a 6.2 would be nice
    10s: You can pry my 2018 Fiesta ST from my cold, dead fingers; would probably become a track/AutoX weapon
    20s: A modest electric car, something like a Bolt or Ioniq

    Cost no object
    50s: A 4-wheeled Morgan
    60s: An Icon-built 60s Dodge Crew Cab coachbuilt to 3-row SUV or already in SUV body from import market (cheating, I know, since it’s modern running gear underneath)
    70s: Big ol’ Cadillac convertible
    80s: Aston Martin Lagonda (and while we’re at it, one of the estate conversions)
    90s: I still want a 2nd gen CRX Si
    00s: Acura NSX
    10s: Heavy duty pickup
    20s: A high dollar electric car like the Lucid or the Taycan

    But overall most of my real automotive dreams are pretty modest and affordable

  3. Working backwards
    2020’s – F150 lightning
    2010’s – Aventador
    2000’s – Murciélago
    1990’s – McLaren F1
    1980’s – Empty space (maybe a beater BWM?)
    1970’s – almost any truck with an 8+ ft bed
    1960’s – Morgan 4+4
    1950’s – Something small and British

  4. 1950’s – Porsche 356 Speedster
    1960’s – Maserati 3500 GTI
    1970’s – Lancia Stratos HF
    1980’s – Porsche 928 S4
    1990’s – Ferrari 308 Quatrovalvole
    2000’s – Audi R8
    2010’s – McClaren Senna
    2020’s – Bronco Raptor

  5. An unlimited budget calls for really outrageous cars that have no real business being on the road.

    1954 Mercedes 300SL
    1963 Ferrari GTO 250
    1978 Lamborghini Countach LP400 S
    1986 Porsche 959
    1995 Acura NSX
    2009 Koenigsegg CCXR
    2019 McLaren Senna
    2023 Bentley Bentayga EWB

    The NSX is by far the weakest link and the one I just dropped in because I was tired of thinking of this question.

    The Bentley is there mostly because you need something to drive around in, I really like long wheel base cars. And if the back seat doesn’t compare to the front seats in comfort, it’s not really as much of a luxury car as it could be in my mind.

    I’m really shocked that there are exactly zero convertibles in my list. But I don’t find my answers particularly interesting because “how would you spend all the money if you had all the money” isn’t really all that interesting a question.

  6. 1956 Porsche 550
    1962 Porsche 356B
    1973 Porsche 911 RS
    1988 Porsche 959
    1993 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.6
    2007 Porsche Carrera GT
    2011 Porsche Boxster Spyder
    2022 Porsche 911 GT3 Touring

    I mean, not really….but I always like seeing that this sort of list is possible. 🙂

  7. “Let’s say you’re given unlimited money to build an eight-car collection. The only catch is that each car has to be from a different decade, starting in the 1950s and finishing with the 2020s.”

    – 1959 Checker A10W Superba with a Chrysler LA 360 truck and A904
    – 1968 AMC AMX “Von Pirahna” with the 390
    – 1977 Jeep Wagoneer and we will not be answering questions, only causing them
    – 1986 Dodge Daytona TurboZ C/S with a pre-1/1/86 build date
    – 1995 Dodge Neon ACR with full SCCA prep package (including airbag removal)
    – 2002 Mazda RX-7 Spirit R
    – 2012 Porsche Carrera 4 GTS, oh hey…
    – 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer with all the warranty I can get my hands on

  8. 1959 Coupe DeVille
    1964 Aston Martin DB5
    1979 Chevy K20 (nostalgic purposes)
    1981 Chevy Citation (nostalgic purposes)
    1998 Nissan Skyline GT-R
    2004 Ford GT
    2017 Dodge Challenger
    2022 Rivian R1T

  9. As always, ask me again tomorrow and this list may be different, but for today:

    1955 Lancia Aurelia B24 Spider
    1967 Plymouth GTX
    1975 MGB GT V8
    1985 Ferrari Testarossa
    1991 Nissan D21 “Hardbody” 4×4 V6 manual
    2002 Buick Park Avenue Ultra
    2019 Chevy Camaro 4 cyl manual
    2023 Toyota Corolla GR (in bright orange or something)

    These choices I know I’d actually drive.

  10. I mean if that Citroën is truly going to go onto the beach, especially loaded with batteries, it’s going to need some wider tires than that. Skinny tires are going to sink right in (I can attest to my electric car’s weight on the beach). Maybe some balloon tires to truly get that bouncy beach buggy experience?

  11. First, I like the beach buggy. It is a nice alternative to the golf carts.

    Now for eight vehicles, in no particular order. I used general style when there was not a specific preference.

    1. 2000 – 2010 Work truck.
    2. 1969 Ford F-100. Special place in my heart.
    3. 1998 z28 (see user name).
    4. 1970s Station Wagon.
    5. 1980s Ford Panther platform.
    6. 2015-2020 SuperC or Class A motorhome.
    7. 2021 -> 2022 Jeep Wrangler. Flat tow for number 6.
    8. 1958 Chevy DelRay

  12. 59 Dodge Custom Royale Convertible (swivel front seats!!!)
    68 Iso Griffo
    70 Maserati Ghibli
    87 Ferrari 288 GTO
    98 McLaren F1
    09 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder (an actual usable exotic)
    19 Tesla S 100D
    23 Ford F150 Lightning

  13. I think we’ll be underwhelmed by the sony car.What can they offer that others havent already?
    Will they make ‘a tesla’ without the stupid aspects? Will they somehow make phone restrictions work while the car is moving?
    We know for sure full autonomy wont be a thing. We know they won’t make huge inroads to affordability.

    1. “What can they offer that others havent already?”

      Amazing styling, Seiko level reliability, Western state spanning range, Maybach luxury, supercar performance all at a price even a Cheap Bastard can love.

      Make it happen!

  14. Now we’re playing a game I like!

    1) 1932 Ford three-window hot rod w/ a west coast stance and built in the traditional style with a flathead Ford V8.

    2) 1941 Ford 1/2 ton pickup. All original and period correct.

    3) 1957 Dodge Coronet hardtop coupe, lowered with Astro Supremes and whitewalls, and painted in the Watson-style with heavy doses of metalflake.

    4) 1965 Plymouth Barracuda built in a full-on period correct gasser style drag car.

    5) 1971 Plymouth Satellite Roadrunner, high-impact yellow with the black strobe stripes, Cragar SS wheels and period correct white letter tires.

    6) 1980 Dodge Ramcharger. All original and period correct w/ 15″ steel wheels and dog dish hubcaps

    7) 2015 Dodge Viper. Black w/ silver stripes. Last of the breed.

    8) 2022 Dodge Challenger wide body Hellcat. Black on black with the lest amount of cushy options available. I’ll even take the auto over the 6-speed because it’s a stellar transmission and probably the best automatic offered by Mopar since the 727. This is my cross-country, grand touring, daily ride.

  15. As people are overspending for vehicles to the tune of 10-20k (or upwards) nowadays I would not be surprised if a lot of these 7-8 year loan holders start to struggle with inflationary situations. The reason they went to those loans was to have the ability to afford something they couldn’t in years past. Tick up fuel/food/housing by 25% in some areas and those people have to choose. The new car loses most times…

  16. 1958 Volvo PV544
    1968 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale (Ferraris are so mundane, overall prettiest car ever with also best automotive butt ever).
    1971 Range Rover Classic
    1981 Alfa Romeo GTV6
    1998 Volvo 960 Wagon (2.4 VW diesel)
    2007 Porsche Carrera GT
    2011 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS
    2022 Toyota Hilux (3l diesel, 5 door with cabin height hard cover for the bed)

    1952 Pegaso Z102 Flat Windscreen
    Bond’s original 1963 Aston Martin DB5
    1970 Lancia Stratos HF Zero (nostalgic reason)
    1986 Lamborghini Countach 5000
    1998 McLaren F1
    2008 Tesla Roadster
    2018 Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta
    2020 De Tomaso P72

  18. 1959 VW Beetle – Just because I want a beetle and this seemed the best place to slot it in
    1968 Shelby Mustang GT500 – Unicorn
    1974 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Spyder – So I can live out my Miami Vice Dreams
    1989 Porsche 930 Slantnose
    1995 Toyota MR2 – Plenty of exotics, need something reliable and I lusted after these when new
    2001 Ferrari 550 Maranello
    2015 Porsche Cayman GT4
    2022 Ford Ranger Lariat or a 2022 Lucid Air Dream

  19. 1950s: Mercedes 300SL
    1960s: Aston Martin DB5
    1970s: Chevy Cheyenne K-series truck
    1980s: Lotus Esprit Turbo
    1990s: McLaren F1
    2000s: Honda S2000 or Acura NSX (probably the latter…)
    2010s: A Porsche 911 with a manual. (too many choices to narrow from there)
    2020s: A Jeep Grand Wagoneer, but only once they find a way to get 20 MPG. (Yeah…doesn’t exist yet)

  20. I wonder how many of those repo’s are from people now realizing that they paid $15-20k extra for the privilege of buying a vehicle, and realized it’s better for them to simply walk that pay off all that?

  21. This is an amazingly tough list to make as I love too many cars. I’m also amazed how many Chrysler products made it onto the list as well!

    1957 DeSoto Fireflite Sportsman
    1966 Imperial Crown
    1970 Dodge Coronet Super Bee 440-6
    1985 Lamborghini Countach LP5000 QV
    1992 McLaren F1
    2009 Dodge Viper GTS
    2010 BMW M5 Wagon (E61)
    2022 Porsche Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo

  22. I love weird little cars, especially electric ones, so I’d probably go with these:

    1956 BMW Isetta
    1960 Henney Kilowatt
    1971 Citroen DS wagon
    1980 Renault Le Car ‘Lectric Leopard
    1999 Honda Insight
    2006 Smart Fortwo
    2014 Mitsubishi i-MiEV
    2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5

    I know for a fact that I would be very happy with any and all of these vehicles.

  23. 1959 VW Bus
    1969 Volvo 122 Amazon station wagon
    1970 Nissan Skyline GT-R
    1983 Toyota 4×4 truck
    1992 Subaru Legacy RS Group A rally car
    2003 Subaru Legacy L SE wagon (have it)
    2019 Toyota Prius AWD-e
    2022 Subaru BRZ

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