Sony/Honda in NA, An OEM Goes Air Taxi, & Pickleball is All the Rage

October 14, 2022
Welcome to Friday, home of All Things Used Cars on Clubhouse. Today we look at rising new ventures in auto and sports to pay attention to. We look at the newest announcement by Sony and Honda with their plans in North America, Hyundai pressing the accelerator on air travel, and the sport you didn’t see coming.
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Just a couple months after announcing their new partner company, Sony and Honda announce a plant to be built in North America

  • First deliveries will take place in early 2026.
  • Models for sales, aftermarket, and service are still not confirmed, though Honda’s online D2C experiment in Japan is most likely to make its way to the US.
  • Sony Honda Mobility also expects initial sales in Japan to come from North American exports to the automaker’s home country.
  • #TILI: There is no doubt that the lack of mention of the dealer network from Honda has us concerned, but we know that quality conversations from Honda dealers are an opportunity worth stirring up quickly!

Air Taxi conversations aren’t going anywhere according to a new collaboration by Hyundai

  • The US FAA is still working on considerations for aircraft certification as well as traffic, take off, and landing rules
  • This is the first collaboration by an automaker with an established aeronautical corporation.
  • TILI: So, dealers know how to sell transportation products…ever thought about finding in-roads to conversations with new entrants in this space for delivery and service?

Pickleball is taking the world by storm, and it isn’t just retired folks at the YMCA anymore

  • Tom Brady and Kim Clijsters purchased a 2023 expansion team
  • Sam Querrey, the former world #11 and two-time Wimbledon semi finalist, announced his next chapter: pickleball.
  • Other notable team owners include LeBron James, Draymond Green, Drew Brees, and Kevin Love.
  • Recently Carvana became the title sponsor for the PPA (Professional Pickleball Association)
  • The sport is quickly growing in popularity due to its ease of learning, smaller court sizes, and communal feel.
  • #TILI: I wonder if there are any growing communities of Pickleball players near dealerships in the US…

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Kyle Mountsier, Jeff Revilla

Kyle Mountsier  00:24

Yo, what's Friday October 14. We're looking at new rises in auto and sports Sony and Honda Hyundai pickleball and that's different villa.


People really want isn't it? They stopped to stay when they see me.

Kyle Mountsier  00:41

Even just getting in on the dance and when automotive troublemaker that's all you get me a dance then. Jeff, how are you this morning, sir?

Jeff Revilla  00:53

I'm doing well. It's Friday. It's Friday. What else can I say? That's it. I'm going home after this. I'm gonna call it half.

Kyle Mountsier  01:00

Like this will be enough work for one day we'll get done with

Jeff Revilla  01:04

already cutting into my naptimes

Kyle Mountsier  01:07

so if you don't know Jeff Avila is the digital marketing director. Right. I got that title right

Jeff Revilla  01:12

now. Tuesday. Yeah. Wow, look at that.

Kyle Mountsier  01:15

12 years. That's impressive. That's that's impressive for most in the automotive industry. I will say that. Ben has Jeff is bouncing Ben loves getting He gets excited about the bounce. Jeff, if the people don't know, you know, one of at least my my personal claim to your fame is that is that you have you've done this crazy thing by monetizing the group's YouTube channels. And I just think that's like, just for the people out there to know like, think outside the box, because you were able to do that over the last what, six, seven years and and to be able to get a YouTube account to that level is, is really thinking outside the box. So

Jeff Revilla  01:57

yeah, it took some time. And then YouTube made an announcement last year that no matter what they're gonna run ads on your channel, whether you're monetized or not. And I'm like, Well wait a second. You know, we get maybe 500,000 600,000 views a month across all of our channels, we have 10, channels and franchises. And, you know, I know that 90% of my views aren't in my backyard, they're globally, which was fine, because I'm looking for that local hyperlocal. Like, who's the best Honda dealer locally, I'm gonna win that search. So my theory was, hey, if Google's gonna cash in on this, I'm gonna take half of it, I'm not gonna let him get all of it, I'll take half of the revenue share. And you know, we've been investing in equipment. We've I took my team to a conference. And, you know, just this past week in Cleveland, we had a great time. And we're reinvesting the stuff that Google is paying us to make these videos for YouTube now. So we're gonna use the money.

Kyle Mountsier  02:46

Yeah, absolutely. Well, hey, here's the thing. The reason I started with that is because I think that the theme of today is, is auto dealers looking for new places for both revenue streams and advertising dollars. And so as we get into the stories today, I just want you to, to know, like, if Jeff Avila and the smell Auto Group can monetize their YouTube, you can probably find some new ways to figure out how to have your business monetized and your business, dive into the community. So when you say what to get into it. So just a couple months after announcing their new partner company, Sony, Sony, and Honda, which they announced Sony Honda mobility just a couple months ago, announced a plant to be built in North America and all the people said a min citing tax incentives both on the seller and purchaser side, the partnership in North America is the logical starting point for for production and sales. So it looks like 2026 is the first time that they're going to have dealerships. There's yet to be conversation on how sales or aftermarket purchases or anything like service are going to be had and actually in the auto genius community yesterday, it was kind of raised this question, Jeff, like, haven't seen much mention of the dealer network in this in this communication, right?

Jeff Revilla  04:07

Yes, nothing, nothing is mentioned right now at that point. And so, you know, so little conspiracy start to bubble up and we start talking about little things and bouncing ideas and all just speculation, you know, you know, how could this play out long term? So you got to get in the other genius group. If you're not there.

Kyle Mountsier  04:22

There you go. Well, so it's interesting, because this is the first time that we've seen an auto manufacturer start, you know, they that Honda being from Japan, they are actually starting manufacturing in the US and the first, the first imports to Japan are going to be exports from North America. And so it's interesting because we've seen kind of like these partnerships popping up about you know, tech partners and OEMs learning from Tech. Mizuno said at the to Tokyo boo briefing one of the Japanese companies Honda's Two major executives, he said, we'd like to turn, we'd like to form this company as a whole new automaker completely different from anything else. Our goal is to not become an ordinary car manufacturer, but to become a new mobility tech company centered on software technology. Not Jeff, I got a question. Like, from your perspective, do you see automakers being able to make the jump like realistically to not just being auto companies but actually being tech companies?

Jeff Revilla  05:30

I know I'm practical, I want my car to go from point A to point B, I don't care so much about it wasn't like it was a flashlight on you yet, right? So I the technology, let's be honest, automotive tech from automotive manufacturers isn't spectacular, right? I'm always gonna get a better experience from a Google from my Apple iPhone from Google Maps. The experience is better. I want somebody who can give me the experience I need in my car. Tech companies can do that exponentially better than automotive companies can. There's a 20 year track record of you know, stuff that's in cars right now from from the auto dealers, or from the automakers. So I want that technology to do and I want, I want to see the Fords and everybody that they're introducing Apple, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, which makes the car experience better because we're infusing the tech into the car. That Do you think?

Kyle Mountsier  06:25

Do you think that with the partnership with Sony that there's an opportunity to do something similar? Like do you think Sony can have enough say in the way that technology works? Because you know, Sony's PlayStation Sony thinks in user experience? Do you think that relationship allows that? Or do you think that like a Honda or any other manufacturer is going to continue to kind of not push the boundaries because of the the the need to r&d around the actual vehicle technology?

Jeff Revilla  06:53

I think it lets Honda take that in car experience next level that away the Honda isn't going to be able to do? That partnership could be pretty spectacular internal ride experience.

Kyle Mountsier  07:06

Yep, absolutely. I think the other piece of this is like, Hey, if you're a dealer, and you're 100 dealer, it's a great conversation to start having with your local, your district, your regional, the National reps on like, how can we play a part in this? You know, and I think that that's the better instead of coming at it on like, Oh, you're not mentioning dealers, it's like, how do we play a part in this? How do we how do we, how do we get involved and how do we strike, you know, a partnership with the dealer network with this new OEM that they're creating, to create benefit for consumers? Well, speaking of partnerships looks like Hyundai is really pushing into the air taxi conversation. They've got a new collaboration with Honeywell which Honeywell is one of the largest manufacturers of of technology in the era aerospace technology, space, aerospace technology space that was a lot of spaces. But looks like under the collaboration Honeywell will work with supernal, which is Hyundai's US base e v tall form, which is a whole long acronym to explore integration of the aerospace suppliers anthem flight deck into the air taxis which are slated to enter commercial service in 2028. Meaning Jeff, flying around your city could be little air taxis hovering up flying around figuring out how to get people from place to place. And I it's tough for me to see a future like that. But I mean, that's only that's only like, what six years away we're talking that they're slating to see these partnerships come to fruition and like the models I think we just threw a photo up you know, the models of these air taxis like they're, they're big things. I wouldn't want to be caught flying one of those guys,

Jeff Revilla  08:58

you know, I think about how long did it take air travel with planes to become safe? It was like commercially, it was probably like a 2030 year window before you really felt pretty safe getting on a plane. I might not do this in my lifetime. I'll be honest with you. Two years from now, I'm not gonna be the first guy going up in the in the taxi copter?

Kyle Mountsier  09:19

No, there's no way well and I mean, obviously like there's there's a long time history now of helicopters and planes and things like that, but like low to ground like how do we get pilots you know, the, the FAA, the, the the US organization around some of the laws and considerations for Air aircraft certification are still looking at like, how do we talk about where these can take off where they can land, where can they go, how do they how do we air traffic control this because, like, so I think you know, Kobe Joyner Kobe is Kobe used to be an air traffic controller. He's like, that's one of the most stressful jobs on the planet, right? Add a whole nother complexity of like load of ground under, you know, air traffic, but still encouraging that, that, you know, an OEM is trying to find their way in this. And it's interesting that, like OEMs are trying to find these new revenue streams, these new ways to exert transportation. And I think for, you know, we're I'm a good friend with Liza Portus who you met at a soda con, but she's like, we just want to solve the transportation needs of consumers. Right. And so I think dealers like how do we solve transportation needs? is just the question that we need to be asking. You know, not many more thoughts on that. I'm like, I'm not getting in the plane.

Jeff Revilla  10:42

In downtown, like, you get dropped off in Middle Street, there's, there's a lot of open blades on the corner.

Kyle Mountsier  10:50

Blades everywhere, people, people's hats flying off everywhere. Every so do family members like my hat, right.

Jeff Revilla  10:57

Cheeseburger, I took out a couple of people. Yes,

Kyle Mountsier  11:01

exactly, exactly. Well, we've got one more story today. And this is one that I'm pretty excited about. And I swear, we'll get to a point we'll get to a tie down here for automotive. But I'm just really excited about this too. But we're talking pickleball Jeff, can you can you just real quick before we get into the story, can you explain to the people a little bit about what Pickleball is, and this new kind of like growing community sport in in the US ecosystem?

Jeff Revilla  11:27

Yeah, as a kid. Have you ever played ping pong and airplane just just the dabble of tennis or maybe racquetball, you will fall in love with pickleball it's almost like being shrunk down in the movie, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. And you're literally playing on the smaller court. It's like you're playing on top of the table of a ping pong table. And it is fast paced. You're playing with like, some people have graphite paddles and almost like a wiffle ball. And you're just smacking this ball. It has a great pop sound to it. And he got stay out of the kitchen. All right, we'll talk about that. Maybe a little bit. But you don't go in the kitchen, but it's so fast paced, and it's all reaction time. And it's it's a lot of fun, I guess, you know, people goofed on the, the way the sport grew over the pandemic, but I'm part of that and it's a man it's a great sport.

Kyle Mountsier  12:15

Well, yeah, you know, you said you said the whole like, the way it pops when it comes off the racket. It is kind of this like, ridiculously satisfying sound. You know, like the way that a racket hits or hits a tennis ball is kind of like whack, but this is definitely more of a pop. And it is it's like that satisfying type of suit. Yes.

Jeff Revilla  12:33

Yeah, it's pretty incredible the way that just that sounds I love it.

Kyle Mountsier  12:38

Well, apparently a lot more people love it because just recently Tom Brady and Kim Clijsters, so Kim Clijsters was former world number one and tennis have partnered to purchase a 2023 expansion team in the what's called the MLP so made major league pickleball. Also Sam Querrey, who was a former world number 11 at two time Wimbledon, so on the tennis side, semi finalists announced that he was going to step away from the ATP which is the which is the Tennis Professionals tour, and he was going to move into major league pickleball. So he's taking pickleball as like a professional career at this point. And even other tight team owners in Major League pickleball are people like LeBron James, Draymond Green Drew Brees? Kevin Love like this is that's that's absolutely insane that some of you know this, like community sport that probably started at, you know, a retirement home as kind of like the first place that it happened is now taking the world by storm in this, like new craze around pickleball. We're seeing pickleball courts pop up all over the place. You know, it only like you can fit three pickleball courts on a basketball court. So the space is, is super is super easy to happen. And like you said yourself, you're kind of in this new, you know, the pandemic kind of created a craze around pickleball. But many auto Auto has not been left out at this point, Jeff, this is crazy. Recently, Carvana became the title sponsor for the PPA, the professional pickleball Association, which is kind of like the organizing Association around both amateur and professional events. And here's the statement from Carvana at Carvana. We believe that driving happiness can extend beyond buying, selling and trading in cars, our promises great joyful experiences for our customers at every turn. So this year, we're partnering with a professional pickleball association to serve up smiles with the fastest growing community sport in America said Ryan Keeton, Keeton Carvana, co founder and Chief Brand Officer in the same spirit as making vehicle ownership straightforward and accessible to everyone. We're helping make pickleball one of the most accessible sports in America by championing players of all levels all season long with the sports premier professional league. They're getting Then they're getting in early. Jeff, like, that's an early market move in my opinion, you know,

Jeff Revilla  15:06

yeah, I've seen a couple of those. There's livestream tournaments on YouTube all the time. And I've seen like Nissan and Mitsubishi in there. Maybe not so much for sushi anymore. But Mitsubishi Electric probably was probably what I saw. But right, there are OEMs, you know, pouring money into that space, just like Major League Soccer, or baseball or football. The audience is there. And you'll see there's like, all when there's a tournament in Vegas or California. It's like these little mini Wimbledon's. They put upstands in bleachers, and they're surrounded with people. And it's, it's a whole like, it's like a, like a carnival almost. There's music and there's stuff going on in the background. It's pretty impressive. But

Kyle Mountsier  15:43

yeah, and I think people could see this as like, you know, the still like ESPN, the Otoe, kind of the funny sports are out there. But this is actually past that. It's not just like spike ball like this is becoming a real thing, like large entrants are getting into it. But here's the interesting thing for me, Jeff is, is anytime you have one of these new things like last year, with NIHL, coming out where college students can now use name, image and likeness to monetize, you know, and create revenue streams for themselves. And the early dealers that got in, got the got the best value for the money spent, in my opinion, like, especially in the local community, on these up and coming minor, you know, minor leagues or little, you know, local associations, this is a great place for a dealer to connect themselves to fund connect themselves to community, like the pickleball community is actually pretty tight right now. It's kind of like, Oh, you do? Yeah, we both do. Pickleball this is a thing. It's not, it's not so much like the football community.

Jeff Revilla  16:42

And I'm questioning my whole marketing strategy that we're in western Pennsylvania, it's an old population, I shouldn't be actually popping up pickleball courts all over the place, sponsored by cement water group,

Kyle Mountsier  16:53

they Hey, and look, you've got that leverage. You're like, I want to be the local, I want to be the local authority for all of the the types of vehicles that these people could want. And there's a wide swath of amazing people that could purchase and and get into the ecosystem. And so if you're kind of the early mover on a local business, like we're seeing these global businesses, these national businesses press in, but if you're the early mover on on local business, you're gonna get an over a higher level of attention than anyone else. Well, hey, look, Jeff, it's been so fun. Thanks for joining us this morning. For those that are out there kind of looking for new ways looking for places to to jump in and find new monetization opportunities. Keep your eyes out there everywhere.

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