Samsung Drives Further into Connected Cars with Harman Acquisition

HARMAN and Microsoft to Bring Driver Productivity to the Global Automotive IndustryElectronics giant Samsung is pushing further into the connected car market with the acquisition of Harman International, a firm that specialises in in-car infortainment, telematics and sound management.

The $8bn (£6.4bn) acquisition marks a major leap into automotive technology by Samsung, giving it a significant presence in the rapidly growing market and providing it with an opportunity to develop substantial synergies with its mobile phone unit.

The acquisition comes as Samsungs mobile phone business continues to feel the impact of its disastrous launch and subsequent withdrawal of the Galaxy Note 7, which suffered a number of explosive malfunctions.

While Harman is best known for its audio equipment, around 65 per cent of its sales in the past month, totalling $7bn, were for car-related products, and include connected car devices and audio systems. Its products are installed in an estimated 30m vehicles worldwide.

“Harman perfectly complements Samsung in terms of technologies, products and solutions, and joining forces is a natural extension of the automotive strategy we have been pursuing for some time,” said Oh-Hyun Kwon, vice chairman and CEO of Samsung.

“As a Tier 1 automotive supplier with deep customer relationships, strong brands, leading technology and a recognised portfolio of best-in-class products, Harman immediately established a strong foundation for Samsung to grow our automotive platform.”

“Combining Samsungs strengths in leading-edge displays, connectivity and processing solutions with Harmans technology leadership and long-standing customer relations will enable OEMs to provide new offerings for their customers,” said Dinesh Paliwal, chairman, president and CEO of Harman. “Partnerships and scale are essential to winning over the long term in automotive as demand for robust connected car and autonomous driving solutions increases at a rapid pace.”