Harman eyes sound growth in China market


HARMAN, the premium global audio and infotainment group, expects China to become its largest market by 2015 as its expanding presence and enhanced cooperation with Chinese auto companies help to realize the market potential, company executives said.

The producer of AKG, Harman Kardon and JBL may achieve US$6 billion in revenue worldwide in 2015, including US$1 billion coming from China, said Dinesh Paliwal, chairman, president and CEO of Harman, who was in Beijing on Monday to attend the 2012 Beijing International Automobile Exhibition, also known as the Auto China 2012, for the first time.

China would then account for a more than 20 percent share in Harman's global revenue and rise to the No. 1 spot, ahead of the US and Germany.

Paliwal said China is key focus for Harman's growth strategy as the country invests continuously in new airports and infrastructure such as Shanghai Disneyland and these will spur demand for its high-end professional audio systems.

As a supplier of audio systems to more than 80 percent of luxury vehicles worldwide, Harman's auto business, which generates 75 percent of its total revenue, will also continue to grow rapidly, especially with a growing number of Chinese customers.

At the Auto China 2012, Harman said it sealed a record of US$500 million contracts from Chinese automakers, including Geely Automobile Co and BAIC Motors, as well as Tata Motors of India. Nearly half of the business was generated by the Chinese customers.

Geely has selected Harman to develop an audio and infotainment system for its luxury sedan and a infotainment platform for its new mid-sized SUV. BAIC also uses a premium JBL branded audio system for its full-sized luxury sedan debuting in 2013.



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