|Type||electronic equipment manufacturer|
|Key people||Lars Placke, CEO|
Blaupunkt (help·info) GmbH is a German manufacturer of electronics equipment, noted for its home and car audio equipment. It was a 100% subsidiary of Robert Bosch GmbH until 1 March 2009, when its Aftermarket and Accessories branch including the brand name were sold to Aurelius AG of Germany for an undisclosed amount.
Founded in 1923 in Berlin as "Ideal", the company was acquired by Robert Bosch AG in 1933. In 1938 it changed its name to "Blaupunkt", German for "blue point" or "blue dot", after the blue dot painted onto its headphones that had passed quality control.
After the Second World War, Blaupunkt moved its headquarters and production to the city of Hildesheim. More recently, the majority of Blaupunkt products are manufactured overseas, with large manufacturing centres in Tunisia (speakers) and Malaysia (speakers and electronics). Since 2011 however, the entire lineup is Chinese sourced.
By the 1960 and 1970s, Blaupunkt had become one of the leading German manufacturer for car radios and car audio equipment.
The 2011 take-over effectively left Blaupunkt as a managed brand name with all production outsourced to China, with virtually no 'Bosch era' products still under production. The original Blaupunkt factories within the EU are now owned and operated by Bosch, used exclusively to produce 24V AV equipment for coaches and the like, with products simply branded as 'Bosch' rather than Blaupunkt, and 12V OEM production for automotive manufacturers such as Opel.
Blaupunkt was involved in the development of the Autofahrer-Rundfunk-Informationssystem traffic-information system for car radios, and provided this feature on their German-market car radios from the late 1970s. The company attempted to have ARI used in the USA but had only a few radio stations per major city involved.
For many years, Blaupunkt car audio equipment models often carried the name of a city somewhere in the world, e.g. "London RDM126". In Blaupunkt model nomenclature, this can be translated as "An RDS CD player capable of controlling a Multichanger, rated at 4×30 W RMS (4 × 30 = 120) from model year 1996". High-end models typically had German place names.
Blaupunkt also used the brand "Velocity" to sell products aimed at the top, audiophile end of the market. Audi, Volkswagen, Porsche, Mercedes, Proton (automobile), Vauxhall, Pontiac and BMW all fit Blaupunkt (now simply Bosch) products into their cars, often branded with the car manufacturer's own mark (e.g. The VW Gamma or Audi Symphony lines), with Fiat using them, occasionally unbranded but generally unmodified. Some later Holden Astra models are fitted with Blaupunkt systems (with others being produced by Delphi). Blaupunkt also specialised in coach installations, selling TVs, multiple-speaker setups and PA equipment to that industry. That part of the business has remained with Robert Bosch Car Multimedia GmbH, a 100% subsidiary of Robert Bosch GmbH, and the Blaupunkt branding is no longer used, even on 'hidden' stickers.
Rockford Fosgate alliance
On July 12, 2012, Blaupunkt signed an agreement with Rockford Fosgate granting the Rockford Corporation exclusive distribution rights for the company's car multimedia and headphone range for the North American market. Rockford Fosgate will begin selling Blaupunkt products beginning in Q3 and early Q4 through distributors, and has begun signing up distributors that will carry car radios, navigation, amplifiers, loudspeakers, rear seat entertainment, and connectivity, as well as electronics for the OEM market.