Fronius’ marketshare has taken a hit after more than a year of product shortages in Australia. While the company’s latest model, the GEN24, still has lead times today because of a backlog of orders, another shipment of the GEN24 Primo 10 kW is expected in mid-November and should finally clear the backlog.
“We did underestimate how quickly the market would jump on those new products and also were really positively surprised about the loyalty of customers despite past stock issues,” Fronius Australia’s Managing and Sales Director, Mariella Doppelbauer, told pv magazine Australia.
Fronius has long been Australia’s most popular residential inverter brand, with its marketshare sitting at around 23% at the end of 2022. That same year, Fronius began a major expansion of its manufacturing plants in Europe, going from 4 GW of capacity to 7 GW. This process, however, disrupted the company’s production.
It also coincided with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine which saw demand for renewable energy products in Europe skyrocket. The company opted to allocate its limited supply to its home market, causing the shortages in Australia.
These supply issues saw the company’s marketshare drop to below 15% after Q2, 2023. Austerity measures for Australia are now over though, with Doppelbauer saying “low stock levels are definitely a thing of the past no matter which power class or product.”
With supplies finally back, Fronius plans to spend the next period clawing back the lost marketshare, saying its solid customer relationships and serviceability in Australia will work in its favour. The company will also shift from its previous modus of managing expectations into proactively marketing its newest products.
How effective this campaign will be, only time will tell, but some in the industry believe the quality gap between European and Chinese inverter brands has diminished significantly in the past five years. With Fronius simply not an option for many installers over 2023, businesses turned to brands like Sungrow, Growatt and Goodwe, often reporting better than expected experiences.
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