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Harman begins operations at Chakan plant

The company has invested more than $10 million in the plant

BS Reporter  |  Pune 

Harman, a global provider of audio and infotainment solutions company, which is focusing on India market, has set up a manufacturing facility in Chakan near Pune. The company has invested more than $ 10 million in this plant.

The company is targeting all the major automotive Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in the country for their branded audio products. It has currently joined hands with Tata Motors for branded audio and infotainment solutions. The facility will now produce 400,000 car sets per annum. Tata Zest is the first car on Indian roads to have an infotainment system designed by Harman in India.

Harman 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.

Harman is planning to achieve sales of $500 million in the next five years from the current $100 million business. The company already has a $ 250 million pipeline build in this segment.

Commenting on India operations, Dinesh Paliwal, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Harman International Industries Inc. said, "Harman India has made significant investments in the India market. . The company expects 100 per cent growth in the next five years in India. The first phase of the manufacturing facility will focus on production of next generation audio and infotainment systems for Tata, Vokswagen and Fiat projects. We will start with manufacturing of infotainment products like radio and navigation units and then we will logically scale up our operations by bringing in lifestyle products. Over a period of time, we will bring in our entire product portfolio into India. This manufacturing facility can also be looked at for exports at a later stage."

According to Paliwal, over 80 per cent of luxury cars worldwide are fitted with Harman audio solutions. They are the leading suppliers of advanced connectivity, infotainment, and audio to the world's leading automakers, including Audi, BMW, Chrysler, FIAT, Ferrari, General Motors, Hyundai, Kia, Lexus, Land Rover, Mercedes Benz, Porsche, Toyota, and Volkswagen. At present, Harman has a manufacturing facility in China and another one in the pipeline in Brazil.

Explaining India strategy, Lakshmi Narayan, managing director and country manager, Harman International India said, "Harman has a strong presence in the Indian automotive infotainment market, with the two significant design wins at Tata, VW and Fiat. As part of the strategic multi-year deal signed with Tata, Harman is leveraging its world-class engineering and development teams to create custom audio, navigation, and multimedia solutions for vehicles across Tata's model lines."

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First Published: Fri, November 14 2014. 20:52 IST