Company name changes can often be as part of a rebranding exercise, sometimes due to poor performance or turmoil. This is certainly not the case with GT Solar, which is outperforming much of its competitor base in the PV equipment market sector. Having secured approximately US$1 billion in order backlog for its new foray into the LED sapphire wafer manufacturing market and hints by executives of further acquisitions, a new name, GT Advanced Technologies was seen as better reflection of what the company is now doing and where it intends to play in the future.
“Our transition from GT Solar to GT Advanced Technologies reflects our broader strategic market focus,” commented Tom Gutierrez, GT Advanced Technologies’ president and CEO. “We are growing beyond our historic focus on the solar industry to include other growth markets such as the LED industry. We also continue to look for strategic expansion opportunities into other adjacent markets that leverage our core competencies in crystal growth technology and the commercialization of equipment that drives the growth of new industries. Our name is now more closely aligned with our strategic vision and provides a new platform for us to grow and strengthen our global brand.”
Talking to PV-Tech, Gutierrez noted that GT had outlived just the ‘solar’ tag and that it was important to have retained the ‘GT’ aspect as it was the market leader in its fields served.
‘Advanced Technologies’ addition to its name also reflected what Gutierrez believed was going to be even more important for the company and customers going forward as technological developments, especially in polysilicon and wafer segments would help drive cell efficiency improvements and reduce the cost per watt.
One of the advanced technologies GT is expected to officially launch soon is its ‘Monocast’ technology, a hybrid technology intended to benefit from the lower cost multicrystalline casting techniques but produce monocrystalline type purity and higher performing wafers and cells.
However, GT Advanced Technologies was not about to move into the upstream or downstream markets, instead Gutierrez was adamant that the company remained within its “crystal expert strategy,” leveraging core expertise and business model to different industries that have similar profiles to those it has helped influence such as its recent move in the sapphire wafer market for LED production.
As part of the rebranding and new corporate identity, the company is now trading under its new GTAT stock ticker symbol on NASDAQ.