US racking company moves manufacturing to China

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From pv magazine USA.

Residential solar racking company Quick Mount PV plans to close its factory in Walnut Creek, California at the end of the year to move the manufacturing operation to China, according to sources close to the company.

The offshoring plan, confirmed by Stijn Vos, CEO of ​Quick Mount’s Netherlands-based parent company Esdec, will affect a Californian fab which employs around 40 people.

Quick Mount was acquired by Esdec last year in a roll-up of U.S. racking companies which also saw the Dutch business move for peers IronRidge and EcoFasten, at undisclosed prices, to hoover up a reported 60% of the American residential racking market.

Business for Quick Mount seems to be going well. California-based equities analyst Roth Capital Partners, in a recent industry note, stated Quick Mount’s revenue was growing 70% year-over-year. Last year, the firm doubled its annual production capacity to 1.2 GW.

So, why leave sunny California?

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(No longer) made in the USA

Esdec chief executive Vos told pv magazine: “Quick Mount PV is now part of Esdec’s global supply chain, which gives the Esdec companies stability and flexibility. Products are sourced from all over the world, including the U.S.A. The Walnut Creek facility only performs a portion of the manufacturing steps for some of the QM [Quick Mount] products. Many manufacturing operations were already outside the capability of the Walnut Creek facility, requiring a contract manufacturing partner.

“Many of our current manufacturing partners are based in the U.S. and North America, and we will continue to source from these partners, going forward. But, as a global company, we are working hard to create a globally diversified supply chain with multiple qualified suppliers for each component. Having partners in multiple geographic regions allows us to ensure the integrity and continuity of supply, especially during dynamic times like these. The solid results over the first six months of 2020 confirm that all companies within [the] Esdec solar group perform well and benefit from our reliable supply chain.”

The company’s website stated, at the time of publishing: “Since the founding of the company in 2006, ‘Made in the USA’ has become the central policy behind Quick Mount PV’s ongoing efforts to bring job growth, security and sustainability to our environment, our economy and the energy industry.” The site added: “Quick Mount PV takes great pride in manufacturing in America and in the state of California and the jobs we create here are an integral part of our success.”

The company was one of a small number of solar businesses to manufacture in the U.S.