Bang & Olufsen takes ride in Audi

A8 will have a 1,100-watt sound system from the Danish audio expert by year-end

Copenhagen, Denmark. Home entertainment specialist Bang & Olufsen is entering the in-car audio market to make up for losses in its core business.

Starting late this year Audi will offer a 14-speaker, 1,100-watt B&O audio system in the upper-premium A8.

The system, which will debut in September at the IAA in Frankfurt, will cost "a few thousand euros," said Audi Chairman Martin Winterkorn.

Audi is B&O's first partner, but the Danish company aims to work with Germany's other premium carmakers.

B&O CEO Torben Ballegaard Soerensen expects that its in-car audio business will represent more than 60 million euros of the group's total sales by 2010. B&O is on track to have sales of about 460 million euros during its 2004-2005 business year, which started June 1, 2004.

The company wants to increase its in-car audio business to make up for the continual drop in sales of home entertainment equipment.

Winterkorn said in a statement, "The character of the Audi A8 as the most dynamic sedan in the luxury segment is molded by its trend-setting design and technology, and the Bang & Olufsen sound system specially developed for the A8 rounds this off perfectly."

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