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Harman International’s first Indian manufacturing facility opens in Pune

Dinesh Paliwal, CEO, president and chairman, Harman International; Timothy Leverton, president and head, Advanced and Product Engineering, Tata Motors; Michael Poznanski Eisenschmidt, VP, Technical Office Volkswagen Group India

Dinesh Paliwal, CEO, president and chairman, Harman International; Timothy Leverton, president and head, Advanced and Product Engineering, Tata Motors; Michael Poznanski Eisenschmidt, VP, Technical Office Volkswagen Group India

As the Indian car market grows at a fast pace, both car manufacturers as well as automotive parts suppliers are on the lookout for major expansion in India. Following the trend and to strengthen the company’s presence in India, the global automotive audio and infotainment maker Harman International has built a complete manufacturing facility in Chakan, near Pune. The new manufacturing plant of Harman International India covers more than 35,000 square feet of built up area. This new sprawling manufacturing facility is a great feat for Harman International India, as this is its very first production unit in the country.

The new production facility of Harman International India is a part of the company’s strategy to expand its footprint in the Indian market. The company has a network of 17 exclusive dealership outlets (out of which 5 outlets are for Harman Kardon and the other 12 for JBL) across the country. The global infotainment manufacturer has got a total of 12 global R&D facilities out of which 2 are located in India. According to the company, the fast growing Indian market needs optimized products to suite the changing preferences of the customers.

The manufacturing plant was inaugurated by Harman International India’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Dinesh Paliwal. Representatives of the company’s primary clientele were also present in the form of Advanced Product Engineering head of Tata Motors, Timothy Leverton and Technical VP of Volkswagen India, Michael Poznanski Eisenschmidt. The event was led by the Managing Director & country head of Harman International India, Lakshmi Narayan who along with the others discussed about the difference between the various features, demands of the European and the Indian customers. One of the highlighted points in the discussion during the event was the company’s advantage that it is going to get from the Pune manufacturing facility due to its close proximity to its primary customers in India, meaning the various auto manufacturers such as Tata, Volkswagen and Fiat India.

Harman International India’s Acoustics Systems Engineering Centre is also located in Pune where the auto majors can get their offerings tuned for optimal audio quality. Harman International products are generally associated with the high-end luxury car brands such as Ferrari, BMW and Audi. However, Harman products are now making their way into affordable cars from brands such as Tata, VW and Fiat in India. Its audio system can also be found in the recently launched Tata Zest compact sedan which is an affordable car.

At present, the new Pune based manufacturing facility of Harman International will be taking care of the audio and entertainment system needs of Volkswagen India, Tata Motors and Fiat India. Special after market car entertainment kits will also be manufactured in this Pune factory. Harman International’s new Pune facility is expected to operate on full-force by next year, and produce 4 lakhs car systems per year. This production plant will have a meager 150 employees, as it is a highly automated facility.

Source – Overdrive