FRANKFURT | Fri Mar 22, 2013
(Reuters) – Bosch ROBG.UL said it will sell or shut down its heavily loss-making solar energy operations, the latest blow to the industry as Germany curbs green energy subsidies and cheap Chinese imports flood the market.
In a rare reversal of strategy from the manufacturing conglomerate, Bosch said on Friday it would end its photovoltaics, or solar panel production early next year and put parts of the business up for sale.
Unlisted Bosch, one of the world’s largest maker of car parts, has lost 2.4 billion euros (2 billion pounds) since it created the solar energy unit in 2008 after it bought Aleo Solar and Ersol. It made a 1 billion euro loss last year.
“This is possibly the most painful experience that I have had to endure in my professional career,” said Chairman Franz Fehrenbach in a statement unveiling the plans for the unit that employs 3,000 staff.
The Bosch unit is the latest casualty of boom and bust experienced in Germany’s solar energy industry. Former heavyweights SolarWorld (SWVG.D) and Conergy (CGYGk.DE) are in debt restructuring talks while Q-Cells QCEG.UL filed for insolvency last year.
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Thank goodness our American solar companies are doing so well and creating so many jobs….