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article imageAdidas to return to Germany to make shoes by robots

By Marcus Hondro     May 26, 2016 in Business
Adidas, a German company, has not manufactured its products in Germany in more than 20 years. However, later this year it will begin production of shoes in Germany, made by robots.
Adidas in Germany
Yesterday chief executive of Adidas, Herbert Hainer, led the press through a tour of their new 4,600 square-metre "Speedfactory" plant in the city of Ansbach in southern Germany. While the "Speedfactory" plant is not yet fully completed it is close to completion and expected to produce its first run of shoes in the fall.
However, it will produce just 500 Adidas shoes, with industrial robots, at that time. Full-production of shoes will not begin until next year. The company said they are also planning a robot plant in the United States to make their products and further in the future another one in either the U.K. or France.
Due primarily to cheaper labor, over the past 20 plus years Adidas has produced their shoes, clothing and products in Asian countries. However, Adidas is experiencing rising labor costs in Asia, where it employs some one million workers.
Team jerseys
Chief Executive Hainer said that the robot factories are not intended to replace their Asian plants. The price of products, whether produced primarily by humans or by robots, will be close to the same.
Last year, Adidas made 301 million pairs of shoes but said they want that number to increase by another 30 million pairs each year until 2020. Doing so would see them produce 420 million pairs of shoes in the year 2019.
Hainer said eventually Adidas will return to making the jerseys of the German men's national soccer team in Germany.
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