More than 20 years ago, Adidas ceased manufacturing operations in Germany and moved to Asia due to the lower labor costs there.
Now, it’s coming back to Germany, lured by robots.
A 50,000-square-foot automated factory is being built in Ansbach, Southern Germany, and will deliver the first batch of 500 shoes in the second half of 2016. A second “speed factory” is planned in the United States.
However, the company said that plan isn’t to replace all the manufacturing in Asia, where the company employs around a million workers.
“Our goal is not full automatization,” Gerd Manz, Adidas’s head of innovation and technology, told the Guardian.
Adidas produced 301 million pairs of shoes in 2015.
It said that it plans to sell the shoes produced in Germany for similar prices as the ones made in Asia.