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Harman Audio Coming To More Cars, More Brands

Sections: Car Audio

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A Harmon/Kardon head unit in a late-model Subaru

Harmon announced it earned $800 million in new business from new customers as well as existing customers like Subaru. (Photo courtesy Cars.com Kicking Tires blog.)

Harman International Industries, makers of car audio and infotainment hardware, announced earlier this month it had earned $800 million in contracts from automakers in North America, Europe, and Asia.

In a press release, Harman said Ford awarded it a contract to work as what it called a “branded audio partner” in future programs. In Europe, meanwhile, the company said BMW had chosen to expand its relationship with Harman, adding Harman ultra-premium, fourth-line audio systems to the previous branded audio units Harman had been producing for the German marque. The Continent also saw an increase in business from Volvo, where Harman will provide “ultra-premium branded audio” components in its first agreement with the Chinese-owned Swedish automaker, and from Fiat Group, where Harman won a luxury branded audio contract for Maserati and Fiat Abarth models.

Finally, the biggest gains for Harman may have come in Asia. There, the company said it became the first company ever to be awarded branded audio business by Chinese domestic automaker JAC. Harman also added to its existing business in China with BAIC and Geely. The company said its partnerships with Subaru, where its products are visible under the Harmon/Kardon brand name, and Lexus, where its products are known by the Mark Levinson trademark, would continue, with the brand being nominated for two replacement platforms with each company. Finally, in Korea, Harman said it continued making inroads with Kia, where it secured its first branded audio award for a small C-segment SUV platform.

Harman Chairman, President, and CEO Dinesh C. Paliwal said, “With our OEM car audio backlog up 23% over last year, it’s clear that customers in all major markets continue to acknowledge our technological leadersihp, strong brand portfolio, and best-in-class global footprint.”

That, or they just continue to demand OEM car audio that doesn’t suck. Either way.

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