Samsung grabs piece of the action around connected car

November 14, 2016 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
With the takeover of Harman International Industries, Samsung buys the entrance ticket to the automotive connectivity market. The Korean industry giant has announced the takeover of the US-based HiFi and automotive infotainment company for a value of $ 8 billion.

Samsung has identified connected technologies, and in particular the connected car as a top priority market; Samsung expects that this market segment will grow to a volume of more than $100 billion within the decade ahead. With more than 30 million vehicles currently equipped with Harman’s connectivity platforms and audio system, Harman is regarded as the market leader whose expertise also covers the fields of telematics, connected safety and security. This field includes software updateability for cars across the air interface (OTA), a feature on which the automotive industry is currently feverishly working. Samsung, on the other hands, already has significant expertise in complementary technology fields – namely 5G and cyber security solutions.

 

In addition to technologies related to the connected car, Samsung also expects beneficial effects in the fields of semiconductors, displays, and consumer electronics. In the latter area, Harman has a very broad range of well-established audio brands like JBL, Harman Kardon, AKG, or Bang & Olufsen – to name just a few.

 

It is planned that Harman will operate as a standalone subsidiary of Samsung, and Dinesh Paliwal will stay at the helm of the company. Likewise, Samsung plans leave Harman’s work force, headquarters and facilities widely untouched as part of a long-term growth strategy in automotive electronics.