* Targets $1 bln annual revenue from China by 2015
* Wants to keep up momentum from recent deals
* Could double staff in China, India, Brazil in 2 years
* Shares up 8 percent in last 52 weeks
By S. John Tilak and Saqib Iqbal Ahmed
BANGALORE, Aug 13 Harman International
Industries Inc (HAR.N) is aggressively pursuing contracts with
Chinese automakers and speeding up hiring as the audio products
maker targets $1 billion in annual revenue there by 2015.
The company is also talking to top car makers elsewhere in
Asia, Europe and the United States for multi-million dollar
contracts, its chief executive told Reuters in an interview.
Harman, whose brands include Harman Kardon, JBL, Mark
Levinson and Infinity, wants to keep up the momentum after
recent deals with Fiat FIA.MI, Toyota Motor (7203.T) and
Other blue-chip customers for its audio and infotainment
systems include BMW (BMWG.DE), Audi (NSUG.DE)/Volkswagen
(VOWG.DE), Daimler (DAIGn.DE) and PSA Peugeot Citroen
Harman has historically focused on the luxury market but as
of late pushed into the global midmarket for infotainment
systems, worth about $5 billion. [ID:nWNAB7873]
Contracts with U.S., European and Japanese brands can be
worth $500 million to $1 billion over a lifecycle, while deals
in China are smaller, CEO Dinesh Paliwal said.
But China -- which overtook the United States as the
world's biggest autos market last year -- and other fast-growth
emerging markets such as India and Brazil are a big part of
Harman's international expansion strategy.
Chinese automakers like Geely (0175.HK), Chery Automobile
Co and BYD (1211.HK) have ambitious plans, he said.
"They are dreaming like Henry Ford did. They see Harman as
a ticket to the dance floor," said Paliwal, who joined the
company from ABB ABBN.VX(ABB.N) three years ago.
In fiscal 2010, China accounted for $199 million of
Harman's total $3.36 billion revenue.
Harman is targeting revenue of about $1.4 billion from
China, India and Brazil by 2015, up from $227 million in fiscal
The company, whose products were used at the 2009 U.S.
presidential inauguration and at Grammy awards, plans to
increase staffing in these three countries to 3,000-5,000
within two years from 1,900 currently, said Paliwal. Harman
employs 11,000 staff worldwide.
Founded by Sidney Harman in 1953, Stamford,
Connecticut-based Harman International created the world's
first stereo receiver and the first high-frequency loudspeakers
for professional recording studios. Harman unit AKG won the
technical Grammy in 2010.
The company competes with Bose, Yamaha, Panasonic Corp
(6752.T), Sony Corp (6758.T), Denso Corp (6902.T) and Visteon
Corp VSTNQ.PK in various markets.
Paliwal said Harman ousted European and Japanese suppliers
to win its recent deal with Fiat.
The company's shares were trading down 9 cents at $29.73
Friday on the New York Stock Exchange. They are up 8 percent in
the last 52 weeks, outperforming the broader S&P 500 Index's
.SPX 3 percent drop.
(Reporting by S. John Tilak and Saqib Iqbal Ahmed; Editing by