German robots to make first Adidas running shoes in 2016

HERZOGENAURACH, Germany (Reuters) – A German factory operated largely by robots will make its first 500 pairs of running shoes for Adidas early next year as the sportswear company seeks to cut labor costs and speed up delivery to fashion-conscious consumers.

Founded by German cobbler Adi Dassler in 1949, Adidas has shifted most of its production from Europe to Asia and now relies on more than 1 million workers in contract factories, particularly in China and Vietnam.

But Adidas now wants to bring production back closer to its major markets to meet demands for faster delivery of new styles and to counter rising wages in Asia and higher shipping costs.


 

No more uppity Asians to worry about…

Protesters from labour organizations hold banner and placards during a protest to support the on strike workers at Yue Yuen Industrial ( Holdings ) Ltd at Adidas's office at a shopping mall in Hong Kong, Thursday, April 24, 2014. Workers on strike at a Chinese factory owned by the world's largest maker of athletic shoes have rejected management's latest offer in an ongoing labor dispute that is crimping production for brands such as Nike and Adidas. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

Protesters from labour organizations hold banner and placards during a protest to support the on strike workers at Yue Yuen Industrial ( Holdings ) Ltd at Adidas’s office at a shopping mall in Hong Kong, Thursday, April 24, 2014. Workers on strike at a Chinese factory owned by the world’s largest maker of athletic shoes have rejected management’s latest offer in an ongoing labor dispute that is crimping production for brands such as Nike and Adidas. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

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