A few days ago, Samsung announced its biggest acquisition ever: $8 billion for Harman, a company that’s making more money from its car-related business than its stellar audio products. Samsung emphasized Harman’s business, suggesting that it’s very interested in the future of the connected car, prompting many to speculate on whether Samsung is looking to build a car of its own. But it turns out that Samsung doesn’t want to make a car right now.
“We don’t really want to build cars. It is important to recognize what we believe going forward is that we are not interested in the more traditional area of business or technology like powertrains or seats or bodies,” Samsung president and chief strategy officer Young Sohn said in an interview with Forbes.
“We don’t add a lot of value in that area. Where we add value is in areas of transportation where we support an autonomous connected experience, electrification, and better user experiences.”
Samsung is definitely interested in selling more traditional carmakers the hardware and software needed to power smart cars. Harman will surely help in that regard, at least when it comes to software, including “connected cloud, telematics, over-the-air updates, and security.”
“[We] have a vision that the car of tomorrow will be much different than today,” the exec said. “We are envisioning what happens in the future as similar to the smartphone experience. And that doesn’t mean we compromise safety or security but have the convenience and technology that can bring more relevant information to one’s driving experience. And ultimately even full autonomy is a possibility, and we’re very excited about that when we think about the potential.”
At least for now, Samsung won’t make a vehicle of its own to compete with Tesla or others.
But you know who’s also rumored to either make a smart car, unless they aren’t? Apple.