Samsung’s $8bn car tech move

Samsung is to push into “smart” vehicle technology with the $8 billion purchase of Harman International Industries, marking the biggest foreign buyout by a South Korean company (James Dean writes).

Harman International’s entertainment systems are installed in four out of five luxury cars


Harman, whose in-car entertainment systems are installed in four out of every five luxury cars, will provide Samsung with a route into internet-connected automotive technology, which carmakers are predicting will become a booming market.

Manufacturers such as Tesla have begun installing sophisticated hardware and software systems in their vehicles that are wirelessly connected to the internet, enabling the cars automatically to download “over-the-air” software updates.

Harman, based in Stamford, Connecticut, said that more than 30 million vehicles worldwide had been kitted out with its connected car and audio systems. Harman makes 3D and augmented navigation systems, safety and security hardware and software and embedded “infotainment” systems. The company also owns the JBL in-car stereo brand and the AKG microphone brand.

Samsung makes smartphones, televisions, tablet computers and other consumer electronics.

It will pay $112 per share, a premium of 28 per cent on Harman’s closing share price on Friday.