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Harman International Opens New Automotive Systems Plant in China


STAMFORD, Conn.November 17, 2008: Harman International Industries, Incorporated said today that it has opened a new manufacturing facility to produce automotive audio and infotainment systems in China. The new facility was inaugurated earlier today in Suzhou, near Shanghai, in ceremonies attended by Company executives, government officials, and Harman customers in the region.

"This manufacturing and engineering expansion is a key element of our strategy for growth, while leveraging the attractive infrastructure, talented workforce and new business opportunities in the Asian markets," said Dinesh C. Paliwal, Harman's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Our customers expect prompt, personal service from suppliers with a strong presence in the region, and we intend to build upon our track record for innovation with a value chain that is optimized for today’s markets."

Located in the sprawling Suzhou Industrial Park, about 75 miles northwest of Shanghai, the new Harman plant currently employs about 320 people in producing a variety of speakers, amplifiers and electronic components under the Harman Kardon, Infinity, and JBL brands. Key customers include nearby Shanghai General Motors and Korea’s Hyundai, Ssangyong, and Kia auto brands. Harman announced recently that the facility will also produce the premium audio, connectivity and entertainment systems for an extended version of the BWM 5-Series, built exclusively for the Chinese market. Harman International employs 800 to 1000 people overall in China based on seasonal demand, and is growing rapidly.