Cypress-based Clarion Corp. of America has opened an office in Santa Clara to tap into the software and application-development market of the Silicon Valley area.

Clarion designs and manufactures in-vehicle audio products, including devices used for mobile entertainment, navigation and security. It is the U.S. arm of Japan-based Clarion Co. Ltd., which is a subsidiary of the Hitachi Group.

The U.S. unit has about 270 employees in Orange County, and an estimated $50 million in annual revenue.

Clarion Co. in Japan had net sales of about $1.76 billion for the year through March.

The new Northern California office, which will house Clarion's engineering and product marketing teams, also is expected to boost the company’s presence in the market for cloud-based in-vehicle products, as well as bringing it closer to its strategic partners, including Google Inc. in Mountain View.