Breaking News: Samsung to Buy Harman

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Harman NTG5 radio for Mercedes

Updated! Proving again that the car will be a major hotbed for future consumer electronics, Samsung said Monday, it plans to purchase Harman for $8 billion.

Harman, maker of JBL and Infinity aftermarket car audio products, is a leading OEM supplier to the car companies, claiming OEM orders of $24 billion in the pipeline.

It’s appeal to Samsung is its expertise in the “connected car,” which links the car’s infotainment system to navigation, and other networks.

The purchase of Harman is Samsung’s biggest acquisition in its history.

Samsung said the deal combines Samsung’s expertise in cellphones and semiconductors and its global distribution with Harman’s expertise in in-car electronics and its relationships with the car companies as well as its audio capabilities and brand recognition.

“The vehicle of tomorrow will be transformed by smart technology and connectivity in the same way that simple feature phones have become sophisticated smart devices over the past decade,” Young Sohn, the president and chief strategy officer of Samsung Electronics, said in a news release.

We asked Harman how the deal will affect its aftermarket business, but did not receive an immediate response.

However Samsung said Harman “will operate as a standalone Samsung subsidiary, and continue to be led by Dinesh Paliwal and Harman’s current management team.  Samsung is pursuing a long-term growth strategy in automotive electronics, and plans to retain Harman’s work force, headquarters and facilities, as well as all of its consumer and professional audio brands.”

The deal also gives Samsung access to Harman’s 8,000 software designers and engineers who are working on the Internet of Things.  This includes the next generation of cloud-based consumer and business services for the car.

Last month, rumors circulated that Samsung wanted to purchase Focal.

For more on the deal click here and here and here.

Update– Research firm IHS said, “The combination of Samsung and Harman in terms of its benefits for each in automotive technology is a no brainer. Samsung has tremendous scale when it comes to procurement, allowing it to bring efficiencies to the supply line when it comes to Harman’s products.”

IHS added, “Harman is a market leader when it comes to automotive services such as cybersecurity, over-the-air updates, analytics, cloud services and apps integration, all of which are growth white spaces in automotive.”


Source: Samsung via New York Times


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  1. In 1982 the Guys at CASA assured me the aftermarket would be dead by 1987. Who would have thought in 1982 when we were selling auto-reverse cassette decks with Dolby B that CD in single DIN sizes would be selling big time at 69.99 AND who would have thought when we were selling alarms with window roll up that remote starts at 159 would be the rage AND who would have thought that when we were selling cell phones with brains as big as a boot box that Car Play would determine DVD player sales AND who would have thought when we were selling 10 inch DVD drop down screen players that we’d be selling & installing back up cameras & parking sensors AND who would have thought that when we were selling CD Changers that every CD player, DVD player and mechless head would have a USB slot on the face and Bluetooth music streaming capability AND on AND on AND on AND on…

    Our real problem is not so much that there won’t be anything to sell but rather who will keep up with the skills and chops necessary to sell and install and program and teach consumers about that which is available to sell. It is just the nature of business.

    I have not often been accused of being too bright BUT when I see a pattern developing, troubling as it may seem, good can come from that predictability.

  2. I’m not sure the statement ” Proving again that the car will be a major hotbed for future consumer electronics ” is true.. They want the OE side of Harmon most likely the already fitted items from the factory so to say OEM Consumer Electronics is a hotbed might be more on track…

  3. That’s what we all said in1981!
    There will always be a demand to retrofit cars with new emerging technologies!

    And there will always be doomsday naysayers…..

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