Thalheim/Tokyo, 27 June 2007 - Q-Cells AG is to open its branch in the Japanese capital today, Wednesday 27 June 2007, marked by a celebratory ceremony at the German Embassy in Tokyo. In doing so, the world’s second largest manufacturer is the first company from the successful German photovoltaics industry to venture into the ‘land of the rising sun’. This breakthrough into the Japanese market is all the more unusual, because Japan continues to be the world market leader in the production of photovoltaic systems. However, it is precisely this fact that makes the country of interest to QCells AG, since the Tokyo branch will be primarily concerned with purchasing. “We have longestablished, strong relationships with wafer manufacturers and other suppliers in Japan. We intend to develop these through our local presence", is how Anton Milner, Chief Executive Officer of Q-Cells AG, explains the fundamental reasons for opening the office. An additional function of the branch in Japan, currently staffed by three employees, is to increase sales of solar cells from Thalheim on the Japanese market in the medium to long-term. “We have been acting as supplier to a major Japanese module manufacturer for a long time”, says Milner. “Despite strong competition from Japanese companies, we see definite market opportunities for ourselves. This is because even here there are module manufacturers who believe in having an independent partner with regard to cell manufacture.”
By opening a branch in the Japanese capital, the by far largest European manufacturer of solar cells is strengthening its global position. “Thanks to our strong relationships with suppliers and customers, we are closely connected to the Japanese photovoltaic community. This branch is proof of this”, says Björn Sandberg, the Branch Manager. Originally from Norway, he has worked in Japan for five years and has excellent contacts in the Japanese photovoltaic industry. Together with him, two Japanese employees will represent Q-Cells AG “We share a common goal with our colleagues at Japanese companies: we want to make solar energy the main energy source of the future, as quickly as possible.” Partnership-based cooperation and a mutual exchange of experience are very important for this.
The branch in Japan is already the third Q-Cells AG office on the east Asian future markets. The company has already set up an office in Hangzhou/China, and Q-Cells Asia Limited with its head office in Hong Kong. Employees from the office manage sales activities in the Asian-Ocean region, including South Korea (one of the most important photovoltaic growth markets at this stage) and India, which could prove extremely important in the future market.