SMA to downsize massively


The company expects the consolidation period to carry on in the solar sector and as a result forsees a further decline in sales. SMA already saw a revenue fall of nearly 50% in the first quarter of this year and has been planning major job cuts. Now concrete information has been released. 700 full-time positions in Germany will be let go by December 31, 2014.

The layoffs are expected to affect both full-time and part-time employees. Therefore the 700 full-time positions correspond to about 800 employees. SMA will thus be left with 3,000 full-time positions by the end of 2014.

SMA CEO Pierre-Pascal Urbon stated that for the first time in many years, the global PV market will decline in 2013 and SMA will thus be affected by this shrinkage. "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," Urbon added.

The management board at SMA has been busy the last weeks negotiating with the Works Council to see how personnel adjustments can be done in the most socially responsible manner possible. Negotiations are still in progress. "The planned downsizing is unavoidable if SMA is to emerge strengthened from the current consolidation phase in the solar sector," Urbon added.

All SMA divisions and corporate center in Germany will be affected by this move. IT and development specialists will not be affected, stated the company. Technology development is one aspect SMA plans to continue investing in.

SMA nevertheless sees positive long-term persepctives for the company with Urbon adding that the company will continue to actively help to shape the transformation in the energy sector through the development of entirely new product platforms, service promise and a global presence.