Harman Falls After Apple’s Siri Eyes Car Market

Harman Falls After Apple’s Siri Eyes Car Marke
A worker runs a test on a Chrysler NTG4 at Harman International Industries Inc., Automotive Division in Washington, Missouri. Photographer: Whitney Curtis/Bloomberg

Harman International Industries Inc., a maker of car infotainment systems, fell the most over two days this year after Apple Inc. said it’s working with automakers on a Siri voice-command button for steering wheels.

The shares slid 8.9 percent for their biggest two-day decline since December. Today, they dropped 3.9 percent to $36.53 at the close in New York.

Apple said yesterday that it’s working with carmakers such as Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, General Motors Co., Honda Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. to add the button activating Siri, its voice-recognition software. That sent shares of Stamford, Connecticut-based Harman down 5.2 percent for the day.

“Apple is a partner, not an adversary,” Harman Chief Executive Officer Dinesh Paliwal said in an interview today. Harman, which supplies equipment that combines music, maps and other information in automobiles, has been working with Apple and BMW on integrating the iPhone into BMW vehicles, he said.

The feature, Apple for Automotive, will be available on BMW vehicles this fall, Paliwal said.

The integration of smartphones into vehicles poses the greatest risk to developers of built-in infotainment systems, David Leiker, a Robert W. Baird & Co. analyst, said in a research note today.

“It is likely high-end vehicles,” about 12 percent of the U.S. market, “will have a high level of embedded technology while lower-end vehicles are likely to have a large share of integrated smartphones with a whole range of combinations in between,” said Leiker, who rates the shares neutral.

Harman has said its gear is in 80 percent of luxury vehicles sold.

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