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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  • That’s how it works. Advances happen. You learn new skills.

    Otherwise we all would be making buggy whips.

    Adapt or become the third world.

    • Little choice but to become the 3rd world. This is the end game of the industrial revolution but unlike previous upheavals new jobs are not being created.

      • Somewhere, somehow, someone has to create, design, make and repair these things.

        Like all tools, they reduce human drudgery. We have to be smart enough to look at a bigger picture. Horse pulling a plow or John Deere pulling a huge plow – washing machine or a rock on the side of a stream – a 747 from London to New York or a steamboat – progress happens.

        We adapt and live better as a result. The adaptation is the tricky part. Too many fight it.

        • Not everyone will be needed to be a robot repair guy and with the level at which the ability of AI is increasing even programmers and designers will be at risk.

          The next big push by automation will be into those middle class jobs once thought unassailable ie. management etc.

          Service Jobs? Even they are being automated, automated check-outs and fast-food order bots.

          I am not resisting, just pointing out that previous upheavals did indeed open up new employment vistas, this time not so much.

          • ismiselemeas

            I for one am looking forward to it. Imagine the kerfuffle when union thugs try to disrupt fully automated, robotic manufacturing plants. We have always had a desire for goods produced by artisans whoever. I love a pair of hand stitched leather shoes, who the hell doesn’t? Quality is quality. The new economy is not stopping though. Look at the taxi drivers outside city hall today, it looks like downtown Beirut. The fun and games are only starting. This is merely the beginning of the shit show. Hopefully a few of them will end up in court on charges and get booted out.

          • It could lead us to the ultimate Utopia. Everything we need and/or want made by robots.

            When a robot can do anything, including making another robot, one free robot will make mankind free.

          • canminuteman

            Except we have to figure out a way to get paid by just existing so that we can enjoy the fruits of our robot slaves. The robot owners will be filthy rich. The people who provide luxery goods to the robot owners will be OK, but the vast bulk of humanity will be redundant. I am not a believer in income redistribution, so we had better figure out what we are going to do with the surplus people we don’t need. A good start would be to leave them where they are, because without immigration our population would be falling.

  • Dana Garcia

    Jobs? Who needs jobs?

    The age of automation is upon us, and political suits are asleep.

    • And still they keep the immigration floodgates open, it is insanity.

      • Exile1981

        Or treason…

        • Doug Kursk

          Yes. Exactly this.

  • Hard Little Machine

    I thought a zillion Muslim refugees were going to save their economy.

    • Well a massive pool of cheap labour will save the corporations a great deal of money and make their lives so much easier, the rest of us are screwed.

      • Dana Garcia

        What’s crazy is the corps don’t need the labor — the big brains at the top know automation is coming and are in fact implementing it.

        But I guess they figure you can’t have too much cheap labor laying around to take up the slack.

        • Keeps the population divided and fearful, that’s the kind of stability they want.

    • Doug Kursk

      Two of the great lies of the pro indigenous population removal gang:

      1) Muslims will make better citizens than those lazy Canadians, Brits, Yanks etc.

      2) somehow, poor and uneducated third worlders will become a net economic benefit to highly educated and industrialized nations

  • Ron MacDonald
  • Doug Kursk

    The robot lobby will be overjoyed, I’m sure.

  • Clausewitz

    Leave it to the Germans to find a wage scale below slave labour levels.

  • tom_billesley

    Fed up with imported “asian” cab drivers? Toronto has the answer.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3350958/Do-dog-licence-Atom-driving-pug-loves-wheel.html