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4 November 2013

Honda to discontinue operations of subsidiary Honda Soltec in spring 2014

Japan’s Honda Motor Co Ltd has announced plans to discontinue the operations of its copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) thin-film photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturing subsidiary Honda Soltec Co Ltd in spring 2014 and withdraw from the production and sale of photovoltaic products.

Honda Soltec was established in December 2006 and began operation in October 2007 on the campus of Honda Motor’s Kumamoto Factory in Kumamoto Prefecture. Capital investment was ¥4bn. With 11,080m2 of floor space on a 25,000m2 site, Honda Soltec’s annual production capacity is 30MW. Spanning R&D, production, and sales & service of photovoltaic modules, generators and other electrical and precision equipment (with sales offices in Wako in Saitama prefecture, Osaka in Osaka prefecture and Kikuch in Kumamoto prefecture), staffing comprised 91 associates (as of end-September 2013).

The firm says that Honda Soltec strove to maintain and improve the competitiveness of its products amidst considerable changes in the competitive environment of the PV industry, including a decline in the price of silicon-based solar panels due to falling silicon prices. Despite such efforts, Honda reckons that the prospects are not good for Honda Soltec to attain its original business plan (for example, its CIGS PV panels’ maximum solar energy conversion efficiency is 13%, which is several points lower than that of crystalline silicon PV panels). So, the firm has concluded that it is difficult to continue in the PV business.

Honda Soltec will be dissolved as a firm in spring 2014. In the Japan market, it will take new orders until mid-February, and after-sales service for Honda PV systems sold up to that date will be continued through the affiliated company Honda Kaihatsu Co Ltd.

Honda says that it will continue its electricity generation and sales business, which targets the widespread use of renewable energy, as well as R&D on the Honda Smart Home System through which Honda aims to foster recycling-oriented energy management based on home energy generation and consumption.

See related items:

Honda Soltec to boost CIGS PV module efficiency to 13%

Honda Soltec selling CIGS PV cells for public and industrial use

Honda Soltec opens CIGS PV production plant

Honda starts selling CIGS solar cells

Honda establishes Soltec CIGS solar cell subsidiary

Tags: Honda CIGS Solar cell

Visit: www.honda.co.jp/soltec

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