Harman is restructuring its business so that aftermarket car audio and branded OEM car audio will now be included in the same division as home/portable audio products in a “Lifestyle” division.
The company will also launch an advertising campaign in September that shows the synergy between car and home products. It will feature celebrities using Harman products. Details of the campaign will be announced in early September at IFA show in Berlin.
The Lifestyle division will include brands such as JBL, Infinity, AKG, Harman Kardon and Mark Levinson. It becomes a $1 billion division that can take advantage of synergies between the brands in R&D, materials and other aspects.
The reason for the combining of branded OEM car audio and luxury home audio is that consumers no longer view their home and car and workplace as separate domains. “They want seamless integration. This is fast becoming a fundamental expectation of modern consumers everywhere. Harman is one of the few companies that finds itself in the sweet spot of this trend,” said CEO Dinesh Paliwal on a call with analysts Wednesday.
Harman’s branded car audio systems are found in vehicles from BMW, Chrysler, Ferrari, Fiat, GM, Harley-Davidson, Hyundai, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lexus, Mercedes Benz, Rolls Royce, Subaru and Toyota.
Also under the restructuring a second $2.1 billion “Infotainment” division was created that includes OEM navigation, telephony, Internet connectivity and safety systems. Harman says it is a market leader in premium infotainment systems that are included in Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Ferrari, Fiat, Hyundai, Mercedes Benz, Porsche, Peugeot, Toyota, Volvo and Volkswagen car models.
Harman noted that Strategy Analytics predicts that 1 in every 5 cars produced worldwide in 2015, or 21 million new vehicles, will have an infotainment system. This is almost double the 11 million infotainment-equipped vehicles produced in 2010. This represents a 5-year compound annual growth rate of 14%.
The company’s Professional Division will be largely unaffected by the restructuring.
Previously, Harman’s divisions were: Professional, Automotive and Consumer.
Source: Harman International