May 19, 2015
The Plug POWERTrip – our six-city investor road show – is off to an exciting start! This morning, we welcomed investors and government officials to our headquarters in Latham, NY – we even had to bring in more chairs! Our guests were treated to a presentation, followed by a tour of the Plug Power manufacturing and test lab facilities where they got to see highlights of our GenDrive series 1000, 2000 and 3000 production areas and our GenFuel assembly lines – including the new GenFuel skid build area.
President & CEO Andy Marsh kicked off the presentation with an overview of Plug Power’s 2015 strategic goals, as well as a discussion of several recent successes. Andy went on to highlight our new GenKey customer, a big box retailer located in Troy Township near Toledo, Ohio. The fully-deployed site includes 177 GenDrive units and full GenFuel infrastructure. Most importantly, this new big box retail customer has more than 100 distribution centers in North America and Plug Power is in deep discussions for future deployments. Read about it here: http://www.ir.plugpower.com/news.
Keith Schmid, Plug Power’s Chief Operating Officer, then discussed the build out of our manufacturing and operations teams, and what this means for the bottom line. Keith spoke about our demonstrated track record with the GenDrive product – moving from initial design and manufacturing at negative gross margins to maturing the product into one that began generating positive margins in 2014 and is planned to reach 29% gross margin by the end of 2015. He discussed our plans for moving the newer Plug Power products – GenCare, GenFuel, GenKey – toward positive margins and what it will take to do that.
Following management presentations, the floor was opened for a robust Q&A session. We were not disappointed by the questions we received. The questions ranged from curiosity about the typical life expectancy of the fuel cell stacks inside our products (10,000-12,000 run-hours) to how the price of oil impacts our business (not really much at all) to what our ultimate target is for gross margin (somewhere around 30%, like similar highly-valued customer engineered solution manufacturers). Other guests asked about how the Hyster-Yale purchase of Nuvera will impact Plug Power’s business and just how ruthlessly Walmart is lowballing Plug Power. For the answers to those, you’ll have to listen to the webcast replay linked below.
And finally, more than 75 people joined a tour of our manufacturing and engineering facilities. Tour attendees saw everything from where we build our GenDrive and GenFuel products, to our new GenFuel skid, to the emerging Plug Power fuel cell stack and the epicenter of the GenCare Fleet Operating Center.
We found the energy shown by our guests today very exciting and we can’t wait for our next Plug POWERTrip stop in New York, NY – only two days from now on May 21st.