|Type||Electronic equipment manufacturer|
|Lars Placke, CEO|
Number of employees
Blaupunkt GmbH (listen (help·info)) was a German manufacturer of mostly car audio equipment. It was owned by Robert Bosch GmbH from 1933 until 1 March 2009, when it was sold to Aurelius AG of Germany. It filed for bankruptcy in late 2015 with liquidation proceedings completed in early 2016. The brand is now managed by GIP Development SARL of Luxembourg and is used on various product groups worldwide.
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.
Blaupunkt took over a former Philips/Grundig factory in Portugal to produce automotive head units. It is still owned and operated by Bosch, used exclusively to produce OEM units for car manufacturers and 24V (e.g. Coach) AV equipment. Later, factories were set up in Tunisia (speakers) and Malaysia (speakers and electronics).
In 1949, Blaupunkt advertised the first FM-capable car radio. By the 1960 and 1970s, Blaupunkt had become one of the leading German manufacturers of car radios and car audio equipment. In 1983, it began selling an in-dash CD player.
After the 2011 take-over, Blaupunkt became a managed brand name with all production outsourced to China.
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 United States, 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, Vauxhall, Pontiac, Holden 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, Audi Symphony or BMW Business CD 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 Automotive). 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 12 July 2012, Blaupunkt signed an agreement with Rockford Fosgate granting the Rockford Corporation exclusive distribution rights for the company's car multimedia and headphones 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.
- Germany, Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung, Hannover, Niedersachsen. "Autoelektronik-Spezialist – Blaupunkt stellt Insolvenzantrag". Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 21 December 2017.
- "Blaupunkt Hildesheim entlässt auch die letzten Mitarbeiter". DEUTSCHE WIRTSCHAFTS NACHRICHTEN (in German). Retrieved 21 December 2017.
- "Blaupunkt winding up Penang operations". NST Online. 22 October 2015. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
- Sethi, Anand Kumar (2013). The Business of Electronics: A Concise History. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 33. ISBN 9781137330420.
- "Robert Bosch GmbH". Answers.com. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
- White, Annie (March 2019). "AV Club: Odyssey of Sound". Car and Driver.
- "Rockford Announces Details on Blaupunkt Deal | ceoutlook.com". ceoutlook.com. 11 July 2012. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 August 2012. Retrieved 14 July 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)