SMA surpasses 1 GW inverter milestone in Japan

The German inverter manufacturer becomes the first non-Japanese supplier to reach this milestone. Local presence in market since 2011 has delivered constant growth drivers.

Germany’s SMA Solar Technology AG has become the first non-local inverter supplier to surpass 1 GW of inverter sales in Japan, the company has today confirmed.

Earlier this week SMA published an encouraging 2015 sales forecast revision that has seen the inverter leader reverse its losses and increase its full-year sales forecast by $56 million. SMA CEO Pierre-Pascal Urbon cited an expanded product portfolio and growing global presence as reasons behind such growth.

Capturing a large share of the lucrative Japanese market has buoyed SMA’s global revenues, making the European supplier the leading non-Japanese inverter specialist in a market that is notoriously difficult to break into.

SMA opened a sales and service subsidiary in Japan in 2011 and it is this local presence, believes SMA executive VP for sales Asia Pacific John Susa, that has enabled the company to surpass the 1 GW milestone.

“Our local sales and service team has been the engine behind this growth, providing the highest level of sales and service support to our key strategic Japanese customers,” said Susa. SMA’s success has been broad, including strong growth in residential, commercial and utility applications, and the company has also cemented strong long-term supply partnerships with local power developers, EPCs and distributors.

Furthermore, Japan’s predilection for high quality components and service enables SMA to play to its strengths, Susa added. “SMA’s state-of-the-art production lines in Niestetal [Germany] satisfy the highest quality standards and requirements in the Japanese market, and SMA has therefore developed a strong reputation for reliability and quality.”

SMA’s central inverter product range has proven pivotal in the company’s capturing of large portions of Japan’s thriving utility-scale market, where compliance with grid management functions are imperative.

At the commercial and residential scale, SMA’s inverters have also been adapted to comply with the country’s stringent Japan Electrical Safety & Environment Technology Laboratories (JET) testing and safety standards.