After 23 years, Adidas shoes are being made in Germany again — by robots

, Financial News

Adidas’s new ‘Speedfactory’ is run almost entirely by robots.

ANSBACH, Germany — Adidas will launch mass production of running shoes at a German factory operated largely by robots next year and plans to open a similar plant in the United States next year, the company said on Tuesday.

Founded by German cobbler Adi Dassler in 1949, Adidas had closed all but one of its 10 shoe factories in Germany by 1993 as it shifted most production from Europe to lower-wage Asia, particularly China and Vietnam.

But advances in robotics and automation means that Adidas can now afford to bring production back closer to customers to meet demands for faster delivery of new styles and to counter rising wages in Asia and lengthy shipping times.


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