Citing changing market conditions and an extended period of consolidation within the solar sector, PV inverter market leader, SMA Solar Technology plans to reduce its headcount further by around 700 full-time positions in Germany by the end of 2014.
SMA Chief Executive Officer Pierre-Pascal Urbon said, “We are expecting an extended period of consolidation in the solar sector. For the first time in many years, measured in Euros, the global photovoltaic market will decline in 2013. As market leader, we will be especially affected by this. In such a short space of time, we are not able to offset the sharp decrease in sales – nearly 50% since 2010 –with the ongoing measures for increasing productivity and saving on material costs alone. We have therefore been forced to make even more far-reaching changes than planned to our personnel structure over the coming months,”
SMA Solar’s major market has been Germany and Europe in general, which according to market reports is declining overall due to falling feed-in tariffs. Asia, notably China and Japan are the boom countries, but SMA’s sales footprint in these markets is small, though the company is addressing this with acquisitions and partnerships.
The company noted that a further 100 part-time jobs in Germany would also be lost by the end of 2014, bringing the total headcount loss in Germany to 800. By the end of 2014, full-time positions in Germany are expected be at 3,000.
SMA Solar had a global workforce of 5,663 at the end of 2012, according to its annual financial report, up from 5,050 in 2011.