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Stuttgart, Germany (SPX) Mar 27, 2013
Bosch is to discontinue its activities in crystalline photovoltaics. Bosch's manufacture of ingots, wafers, cells, and modules will be ceased at beginning of 2014. As far as possible, individual units are to be sold quickly. All development and marketing activities are likewise to be ended. The module plant in Venissieux, France, is to be sold.
Plans to construct a manufacturing facility in Malaysia will be ended. Bosch plans to sell its shares in aleo solar AG. Bosch Solar CISTech GmbH in Brandenburg, Germany, will be continued - as before - as a development center for thin-film technology. Its future alignment will be decided at a later date.
Failure to achieve competitiveness
Dr. Stefan Hartung, the chairman of the Bosch Solar Energy AG supervisory board and member of the Robert Bosch GmbH management board responsible for the Energy and Building Technology business sector, sums up the situation as follows: "Despite extensive measures to reduce manufacturing cost over the past year, we were unable to offset the drop in prices, which was as much as 40 percent."
As announced in January 2013, the losses of the Solar Energy division came to some one billion euros last year. The division currently employs some 3,000 associates, roughly 850 of them at aleo solar AG and some 150 at CISTech.
All possible alternatives examined
Stefan Hartung added: "We know full well that associates face a difficult time. Together with the employee representatives, we will search for solutions that are as acceptable as possible. We appreciate the hard work done by our Solar Energy associates. Over the past year, our associates have fought hard for the future of their division. For this, we owe them our thanks. Nonetheless, our joint efforts to achieve long-term economic stability failed to bear fruit."
Gruber has worked for Bosch in various executive commercial functions within and outside Germany since January 1, 2000, most recently in the corporate controlling department.
The present chairman of the board of management of Bosch Solar Energy AG, Holger von Hebel, and the management board members Dr. Volker Nadenau and Jurgen Pressl will resign from the company board of management effective March 31, 2013.
Commenting on these changes, Stefan Hartung said: "In Steffen Haack and Franc Gruber, we have experienced board members who will initiate the steps that are now necessary and see them through to completion. We would like to thank Holger von Hebel, Volker Nadenau, and Jurgen Pressl for their dedication."
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