The audio business in recreational boating is set for a major overhaul.
Garmin, the industry leader in global positioning system (GPS) hardware and software, has announced the acquisition of JL Audio, arguably the leading audio product manufacturer in recreational boating.
Both companies have well-established marine divisions, but also have extensive product offerings in the automotive, powersports, home audio, and aviation industries.
In a company statement, Cliff Pemble, President and CEO of Garmin, stated:“JLAudio’s extensive audio experience will create new opportunities to provide premium audio features across a broad range of our markets and products. The JL Audio brand is known around the world for offering a premium audio experience which is made possible by their talented and dedicated associates. We look forward to welcoming the JL Audio team into the Garmin family."
JL Audio offers premium audio products and accessories, including speakers, amplifiers, subwoofers and other audio components. Some of JL's brand partners that use their equipment as standard equipment include Boston Whaler, Chaparral, Cigarette, Manitou, Mystic, MTI, Nautique, Nortech, and many more.
JL Audio is headquartered in Miramar, Fla., and employs more than 600 people. The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of 2023, and is subject to customary regulatory approvals and closing conditions. All existing JL Audio products will continue to be supported post-closing. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
“JL Audio shares Garmin’s vision to deliver unique technology solutions, supported by meaningful R&D and engineering. We are thrilled at the opportunity to integrate into Garmin’s product ecosystem. JL Audio will contribute audio knowledge and engineering expertise to create great audio products for many years to come" said Lucio Proni, founder and CEO of JL Audio.
Garmin maintains its U.S. headquarters in Olathe, Kansas with another facility in Salem, Oregon. They also have international offices in Taiwan and the UK. Garmin produces a vast array of GPS and navigational equipment including chartplotters, autopilots, radar, sonar, transducers, VHF and AIS radio, cameras, and antennas.
By uniting both companies, Garmin will now carry considerable weight across the boating industry. With regards to onboard electrical systems, the company will have access to, and control of, a huge portion of the market.