Harman International Industries Inc., a stereo manufacturer with a large plant in Northridge, is moving part of its speaker assembly line from Northridge to Tijuana, eliminating at least 100 jobs in the process, a company executive said Monday.
The company, which has shifted its focus from consumer home audio equipment to car stereos over the last few years, isn't using its Northridge plant space efficiently and will consolidate operations from two large buildings into one starting next summer, said Frank Meredith, Harman International's chief financial officer.
"Our consumer business has been struggling, and the Northridge plant was mostly consumer," Meredith said. "But the goal of this [downsizing] process is not to leave the Valley. It's simply that the amount of overhead we have doesn't support the amount of business we have," he said.
Even after the downsizing, Harman's Northridge facility will remain the company's largest office and manufacturing plant in a worldwide chain of factories that stretch from Juarez, Mexico to Vienna, Meredith said.
The Northridge plant, which will cut 100 to 200 of its 900 jobs, will remain the co-corporate headquarters, along with an office in Washington, D.C.
Carpentry jobs at the Northridge plant will be most affected by the downsizing and relocation. The company plans to build speaker cabinets for the brands Harman Kardon, JBL and Infinity in a future Tijuana factory.
By relocating the carpentry jobs, the company will be able to consolidate corporate offices, design labs and assembly lines in its building at 8500 Balboa Blvd. in Northridge, Meredith said.
Shares of Harman International, which in 1998 reported $11.7 million in profit on revenue of $1 billion, fell 25 cents to close at $51.63 on the New York Stock Exchange.