São Paulo, (SP) BRAZIL – HARMAN, the premium global audio and infotainment group (NYSE:HAR), said today that its recently-acquired Brazilian audio unit Electronica Selenium will now operate as Harman do Brasil, and will play a key role in the Company’s expansion to Latin America. The announcement was made in conjunction with this week’s Expo Music 2010, the region’s largest trade fair for audio systems, musical instruments and lighting systems, where HARMAN is a key exhibitor.
The new unit joins a family of other HARMAN brands that include AKG ®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity ®, JBL, Lexicon ® and Mark Levinson ®. HARMAN plans ambitious growth in the Brazilian market and has recently invested approximately US$100 million toward this goal. The Company will expand its production capacity at two plants in Nova Santa Rita (RS) and Manaus (AM) and establish a world-class research and development presence in the country.
To leverage HARMAN brands and market leadership in Brazil, the business strategy will include entry into new market segments and the launch of new products across HARMAN’s brand portfolio. With current annual revenue in Brazil of about US$ 55 million, the Company is targeting sales of around US$ 250 million by 2015.
“Our customers expect increasingly advanced audio solutions, and HARMAN’s rich portfolio across the automotive, consumer and professional markets will enable us to drive new business opportunities across Latin America”, said HARMAN Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Dinesh C. Paliwal. “Brazil will play a particularly important role because of its rapid growth, sustained by a stable economy.”
The recent acquisition is part of a HARMAN global expansion plan that targets emerging markets such as Brazil, India and China. In addition to current Selenium products, Harman do Brasil will market the Company’s respected line of home theater systems, speakers, docking stations for hand-held devices such as the Apple iPod® and iPhone® and related products. The Brazilian unit’s manufacturing facilities will also become key R&D Centers for the group.
"Our products will be developed in partnership with HARMAN’s R&D centers around the world and then commercialized to serve both domestic and international markets", said the Country Manager of Harman do Brasil, Rodrigo Rihl Kniest.
Harman do Brasil has a well-established presence in the professional and consumer audio segments in Latin America, and will also increase its focus on the automotive segment, which is the flagship of the group worldwide. HARMAN is a major provider of premium audio and infotainment systems to such automakers as Audi, BMW, Chrysler/Fiat, Hyundai/Kia, Mercedes and Toyota, many of whom are expanding their own operations in Brazil to serve an automotive market that is expected to become the fourth largest in the world.
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.