“After having challenged Hollywood, Nokia and Apple, Sony intends to compete against Toyota, Volkswagen or General Motors”

Pertes & profits. Sony is not afraid of anything. The company has almost died so many times, has borrowed so many dead ends: video recorders, televisions, computers, telephones … The company founded by Akio Morita (1921-1999), in 1946, has always known how to find protectors. Today’s one is wearing an odd red and black tight-fitting suit. They call him Spiderman, and the latest installment of his adventures, produced by Sony Pictures, is a worldwide success that has already exceeded $ 1 billion in revenue. Before Spider-Man, it was the PlayStation that had repeatedly saved society, when it lost its foothold to South Koreans and Chinese in consumer electronics. With such guardian angels, the most daring of Japanese societies feels ready to open up new horizons. And why not the automobile?

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At the Las Vegas consumer electronics show, the company made clear its intention to enter the electric car market. Tuesday, January 4, Kenichiro Yoshida, the boss, unveiled the second version of his Vision S prototype, a seven-seater SUV. No more question, as before, of testing its components, but of selling its own cars. “Sony is well positioned as a specialist in creative entertainment to redefine mobility”, did he declare. Thus, after having challenged Hollywood, IBM, Nokia, Canon, Apple and Microsoft, the king of the PlayStation intends to compete with Toyota, Volkswagen or General Motors.

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The automobile, like the airline, has always fascinated generations of entrepreneurs. And the technological breakthrough of the electric car, prompted by the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, suddenly opens up a market hitherto reserved for a few global giants or craftsmen of luxury. But is it enough to be an entertainment king, an ace in virtual reality, video games and three-dimensional sound to propel cars on the highways? In any case, it is a long road.

It takes money

First of all, it takes money, a lot of money. Volkswagen will throw nearly 70 billion dollars (62 billion euros) into the battle, and launches, like its competitors, in the construction of gigantic battery factories. Then you need advanced industrial skills. It is on this capacity to produce quickly, well and at a lower cost that the economic model is built.

Finally, it takes consistency, sometimes waiting decades before finding success. Tesla, the only new player to emerge on the scene in recent years, has followed this route. Its stratospheric stock market valuation has given it the means. The industrial ramp-up, we remember Elon Musk sleeping in his factory, was not easy.

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