Samsung described the deal as a shortcut to becoming a major player in “the large and rapidly growing market for connected technologies, particularly automotive electronics, which has been a strategic priority.”
Harman currently equips more than 30 million vehicles with audio and connected car systems. Earlier this year, Samsung invested $450 million in China-based electric car maker BYD, and Harman signed strategic partnership deals with car makers Fiat Chrysler and General Motors.
Samsung’s Young Sohn, president and chief strategy officer said the company anticipates long-term growth opportunities with its specialized auto electronic components business. Harman markets car audio and connected car technology that includes safety, infotainment, telematics and security.
Assuming the deal goes through, Samsung said Harman will operate as a standalone subsidiary, retaining its current management team, workforce, headquarters and facilities, and keeping Harman’s audio professional and consumer brands intact. Harman brings along well-known brands such as Studer, JBL, AKG, Lexicon, Mark Levinson, Harman Kardon, etc.