“The vehicle of tomorrow will be transformed by smart technology and connectivity in the same way that simple feature phones have become sophisticated smart devices,”
Young Sohn, chief strategy officer of Samsung Electronics, said in the press release.
Samsung hopes to use Harman’s status as a Tier 1 automotive supplier to take advantage of this trend.
Samsung says its expertise in displays, user interfaces, and semiconductor technology would create “significant growth opportunities” for Harman’s auto-parts business. The latter company, which owns a number of brands including Harman Kardon, AKG, and JBL, is expected to double its revenue over the next five years. The firm recently struck large deals with conglomerates including Fiat Chrysler and General Motors, and as of June 30th, this year had a backlog of orders worth approximately $24 billion.
Internet-connected cars will improve in-car entertainment, and be able to help with crash alerts and diagnosing engine problems.
It will also be key for driverless technology.
Samsung said automotive electronics was “a strategic priority”.
The deal is the biggest overseas purchase made by a South Korean firm and comes as Samsung is looking to recover from the withdrawal of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone.