The Strategist

Adidas to suspend robotic production in USA and Germany

11/12/2019 - 09:24

Adidas will close production of sneakers at its two robotic "high-speed" plants in Germany and the United States until April next year. Bloomberg called it a step backward for the company, which hoped that these facilities will be the beginning of a new era of production.

The German company Adidas announced suspension of production at robotic plants in the USA and Germany until April 2020. The launch of these factories was part of the brand’s desire to accelerate delivery of new models to major markets.

Adidas notes that the technologies used at the plants in Ansbach and Atlanta will be transported to Asia, where they will be used more efficiently and flexibly, the company’s website says.

“High-speed plants have played an important role in developing manufacturing innovations and capabilities. Due to the reduced development and production time, we have provided our customers with an extremely relevant product for important moments. That was our goal from the very beginning. We can combine this knowledge with the other achievements of our suppliers, using all these technologies to make them more flexible and economical, while expanding the range of available products,” Martin Shankland, Adidas AG Board Member, said in a statement.

In the future, the company intends to use production processes tested in the USA and Germany for the production of not only sneakers, but also other types of goods.

Bloomberg writes that the decision of Adidas was a step backward for those who hoped that such projects would be the beginning of a “new era of production” in Europe and North America. Cedric Rossi, an analyst at Bryan Garnier, believes that the next-generation transfer of technology that Adidas has developed for its plants is appropriate for a company that produces only a small fraction of its products. “They have gained experience and will now teach suppliers how to use it,” the expert said.