HARMAN and Universal Media Corporation (UMC) Announce Strategic Alliance for Televisions in Europe
STAMFORD, CT – HARMAN International Industries, Incorporated (NYSE: HAR), the premier connected technologies company for automotive, consumer and enterprise markets, and Universal Media Corporation /Slovakia/ s.r.o. (UMC), a leading designer, manufacturer and distributor for consumer electronics devices in Europe, have announced today a new strategic alliance.
HARMAN sound technology will be implemented across the UMC television portfolio, including SHARP & Blaupunkt brands as well as number of private labels under UMC management. The alliance will include the use of both Harman/Kardon and JBL audio brands.
As Star Wars creator and noted director, George Lucas, once said, “Sound and music are 50 percent of the entertainment in a movie.” With that in mind, it was the intent of the HARMAN audio engineers to design a truly cinematic experience for UMC televisions, offering superb dynamic range and exceptional accuracy. Customers will discover that the Harman/Kardon audio system for UMC televisions creates a significantly more immersive experience than the average flat screen TV.
UMC’s CEO, Aslan Khabliev, commented, “UMC is extremely excited to partner with HARMAN. The exceptional sound quality from Harman/Kardon and JBL will bring our products to the next level, enhancing the end-user experience and assuring top market positioning for all of our brands and private labels. We expect this partnership will help us grow our business significantly.”
The use of Harman/Kardon and JBL audio branding is important because it immediately tells the TV shopper that a UMC TV will give them a better entertainment experience than other offerings. HARMAN engineers designed, developed, and optimised specific speaker modules for each TV platform, ensuring that the end-user customer will have an audio experience that meets the very high standards for Harman/Kardon and JBL branding and provides an amazing entertainment experience.
David Rogers, Senior VP and General Manager of HARMAN’s Consumer Audio Business Unit, said, “Consumers deserve an immersive audio experience that matches the stunning visuals from UMC televisions. Together, UMC and HARMAN are giving consumers a leading-edge entertainment experience.”
The televisions will be manufactured at UMC’s state of the art facilities located in Torun, Poland. Production is expected to begin May 2016 with shipments to retailers throughout Europe following shortly thereafter.
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UMC (www.umc-slovakia.sk, www.sharp.eu/av, www.blaupunkt.com/tv) with its head office in Bratislava, Slovakia is Europe’s largest privately held manufacturer of LCD TVs. With a total of 1,200 employees and its own factories in Poland & Slovakia, sales and customer service offices across Europe, UMC currently represents the most dynamically growing business in the European LCD TV market. UMC turnover for 2016 is expected to surpass 500 million EUR.
HARMAN (harman.com) designs and engineers connected products and solutions for automakers, consumers and enterprises worldwide, including connected car systems, audio and visual products, enterprise automation solutions and connected services. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson® and Revel®, HARMAN is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform around the world. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and connected car systems. The Company's software services power billions of mobile devices and systems that are connected, integrated and secure across all platforms, from work and home to car and mobile. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 28,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $6.5 billion during the 12 months ended December 31, 2015. The Company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NYSE:HAR.