SHANGHAI, China - October 28, 2010 - HARMAN, the leading global audio and infotainment group (NYSE:HAR), said today that members of its Board of Directors and executive management met with senior Chinese government officials and other key stakeholders this week to accelerate the Company’s growth strategy and deepen its roots throughout the People’s Republic of China. HARMAN is the leading provider of premium audio systems and electronics for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets, and China is a central part of its growth plans for each.
Mr. Yang Xiong, executive vice-mayor for the City of Shanghai, met with HARMAN Chairman, President and CEO Dinesh C. Paliwal to discuss the Company’s achievements and investments in the region. The Company currently operates a regional corporate office and a world-class R&D and development center in Shanghai, and the city has been the site for major HARMAN professional audio installations including more than 20 venues at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo where the Company has served as an official sponsor.
HARMAN also recently announced that its harman/kardon brand will become a proud sponsor within Shanghai’s new Mercedes-Benz Arena, an 18,000 seat multi-purpose stadium and entertainment complex that has served as the World Expo Cultural Center. The Company hosted nearly 300 key customers, channel partners and government officials this week at Shanghai’s Grand Theater to exchange perspectives on their mutual growth plans and celebrate HARMAN’s commitment.
The Company also announced this week the opening of a new flagship retail showroom – HARMAN’s first worldwide. Located in the luxury development at Sinan Mansions in Shanghai, the new showroom will feature products from HARMAN’s range of premium audio brands, including JBL, harman/kardon, Infinity, Mark Levinson, Lexicon, and AKG. From personal audio and multimedia products to complete home theaters and professional-grade home audio systems, the showroom will bring world-class innovation and design to China’s audiophiles and sound enthusiasts. The new facility will also be a showcase for HARMAN’s roster of celebrity endorsees, such as music legend Quincy Jones and rising Chinese pop star Tan WeiWei, both of whom represent the Company’s GRAMMY® Award winning AKG headphones and microphones.
To meet the increasing demand for premium audio and electronics solutions in China and around the world, HARMAN announced earlier this week an additional $100 million investment program for the country, building upon a previous $75 million investment base. The first project in this program will be a new $50 million manufacturing and engineering complex in the northern city of Dandong. Mr. Dai Yu Lin, Chief of Dandong Government, together with HARMAN executives, participated in a ground-breaking ceremony for the new facility, scheduled to open in mid 2011. Employing nearly 1000 skilled professionals, the center will produce advanced electronics and premium audio systems for both consumer and professional customers, as well as for leading global automakers such as Audi, BMW, Ferrari, General Motors, Hyundai, Lexus, Land Rover, Mercedes Benz, and Porsche. Dandong officials expressed their support toward the joint goal of establishing the city as an important site for R&D, manufacturing, sourcing, and export.
The new facilities in Dandong will complement existing HARMAN development and manufacturing operations in Suzhou and Shenzhen. Mr. Xu Qing, Mayor of Shenzhen, has been very supportive as the Company expanded its operations in the region from loudspeaker and electronics manufacturing to now include a global product development center and regional sales hub. HARMAN currently employs some 1500 people across China, and expects to double that number in the coming years.
“From the south, to the east, and now to the north, HARMAN is expanding its breadth and depth in China,” said David Jin, President and Country Manager of HARMAN China. “With tremendous support from our stakeholders across the country, we will continue to bring the best of our global experience to China’s doorstep. Our latest investment plans demonstrate our commitment to the region and a further milestone in our goal to make China HARMAN’s single most important market by 2015.”
HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets – supported by 15 leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson®. The Company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 20 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 11,000 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported sales of $3.4 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2010. The Company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NYSE:HAR.