Harman to Lay Off 650 Worldwide, Close Elkhart Facility

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STAMFORD, Conn. -

A Connecticut-based audio technology manufacturer has confirmed plans to lay off 650 workers and close several facilities throughout the world, including its Crown Audio plant in Elkhart. A spokesperson for Harman International Industries Inc. (NYSE: HAR) tells Inside INdiana Business the closures will take place over the next year, though it was not immediately known exactly how many Indiana employees would be out of work.

The Elkhart Truth reports the Indiana plant employs about 115 workers.

The company, which employs more than 3,700 worldwide, is also closing facilities in Utah, South Jordan and smaller offices throughout Europe. Harman says the move is the culmination of a two-year effort to transform its Professional Solutions division in order to "better serve our customers, increase our competitiveness and accelerate new product innovations."

Harman says it has begun consolidating certain locations that came to the company through acquisitions over the past 10 years.

"I want to emphasize that decisions like this, while necessary, are not easy to make," spokesman David Glaubke said in an email to IIB. "We have given our employees advance notification of the changes we will make over the next year to assist with the transition and will do our best to mitigate the impact to our employees and their families. Importantly, we also will ensure that the process is completely seamless for our customers."

Glaubke says once the closures and consolidations are complete, Harman will begin a "rebuilding mode," by creating three Centers of Competency, located in California, Texas and Denmark. The company also plans to invest more into its IT infrastructure.

Earlier this year, Harman completed the layoffs of more than 100 employees at the Elkhart facility. Harman was acquired by Samsung Electronics in November in an $8 billion deal.

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