Bosch pulls plug on photovoltaics business


07:21 AM March 23rd, 2013


Guy Maugis, CEO of Bosch France, addresses on Friday, March 22, 2013, during a press conference at the Bosch plant Venissieux, to announce that the company plans to discontinue its solar panel manufacturing business. “Bosch is to discontinue its activities in crystalline photovoltaics”, the company announced in a statement, and its “manufacture of ingots, wafers, cells, and modules will be ceased at beginning of 2014″, because overcapacity in the industry has caused prices to nosedive. AFP PHOTO / JEFF PACHOUD

FRANKFURT—German car parts supplier Bosch said Friday it plans to discontinue its solar panel manufacturing business because overcapacity in the industry has caused prices to nosedive.

“Bosch is to discontinue its activities in crystalline photovoltaics,” the company announced in a statement.

“Bosch’s manufacture of ingots, wafers, cells, and modules will be ceased at beginning of 2014,” the statement said.

As far as possible, individual units would be sold quickly and all development and marketing activities were likewise to be ended.

“The module plant in Venissieux, France, is to be sold. Plans to construct a manufacturing facility in Malaysia will be ended,” it said.

Furthemore, Bosch would sell its shares in the Aleo Solar unit.

“Over the past years, Bosch Solar Energy has tried unsuccessfully to achieve a competitive position. Due to global overcapacity, which has since become huge, nearly the entire industry is sustaining heavy losses,” the group noted.

“Despite extensive measures to reduce manufacturing cost over the past year, we were unable to offset the drop in prices, which was as much as 40 percent,” said Bosch board member and supervisory board head of Bosch Solar Energy, Stefan Hartung.

In January, Bosch said the losses of the Solar Energy division amounted to some one billion euros ($1.3 billion) last year.

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  • Marcos5

    Set up a Solar facility in Mindanao.

  • FernandoBusi

    Just to clarify for you guys solar panel prices are already low … don’t expect them to drop further since a lot of the manufacturers are closing. There is also an upcoming technology which directly converts heat to electricity with a better conversion efficiency than solar. Imagine lang using your body heat to charge your smartphone …

    • Finance Apprentice

      Whoa! so how far away is that technology from being commercial/implemented?

  • Pulis Na Pogi

    magiging mura na ang mga solar panels!

    • Dino Rico Bedanillo

      huh? ang layu ng comment mu. sabi niya magsasara na sila dahil lugi na sila sa pagnenegosyo ng solar panels.

      • Pulis Na Pogi

        ang sabi ng article may over capacity sa industry at ang price ay nagnonosedive. kaya sila magsasara.

        ano ang significance nun sa consumer na gaya ko? ano nangyayari sa presyo ng solar panels?

        explain mo nga paano naging malayo yun…

      • Dino Rico Bedanillo

        papaano mu paliliitin ang presyo kung ang cost ay talagang mahal. lugi na nga sila, paliliitin mu pa ang presyo. sino kayang negosyante ang mga-negosyo ng palugi. Mahal ang materyales ng pagawa ng solar panel. Silicon wafers ang ginagamit nila, ito ay napakamahal, isipin mo bumili ka ng 50 piraso Core i3 processor na gawa rin sa silicon.

      • Pulis Na Pogi

        ewan ko paano basta ang sinabi ng article, bagsak na by 40% ang presyo. hahahaha!

        imposible ba? ganyan din ang pag iisip ng tao about sa paglipad bago naimbento ng wright brothers ang eroplano…

    • muddygoose

      Hopefully, kaso ang alam ko artificially low itong prices dahil maraming Chinese companies ang nagbebenta ng palugi para ma-control ang market. Mahirap din magstay afloat–hinde naman lumalaki ang demand for energy at pamura din ang oil dahil sa economic slowdown. Mukhang hinde pa nagmamature ang industry, pabagsak na siya.

      BTW, nagsara din yung isa sa pinakamalaking manufacturer, yung Suntech ng China.

    • muddygoose

      Add ko lang — Ideally, yung pagmura ay natural. For example, maganda kung magmura siya dahil malaki na talaga ang market at mature na ang technology. Ito yung mura na makakabili tayo ng solar panels at mapapalitan nya ibang energy sources. Sa ngayon, mura cya in a sense na hinde viable yung business model para mag-manufacture or even mag-R&D. Kung ganito, matatagalan bago magiging affordable at competitive ang solar energy.

      • Finance Apprentice

        Nice explanation. Tatanong ko nga dn sana kung bakit halos wala pa dn sa pinas, eh mura na pala.

        So most likely talagang matagal pa bago makapag kabit ng solar panels d2 sa mga bahay sa pinas….

        China lang ata nakikinabang, sa kanila lang madami solar panel plants eh… or baka hindi rin, kung puro overseas lang market nila… sayang lang pag flood nila.

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