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Adidas brings shoe manufacturing back to Germany–but most of the jobs are going to robots

The sportswear brand, founded over 60 years ago by a German cobbler, moved production to Asia in the early 1990s. Now, due to improvements in robotics technologies that have offset Europe’s higher labor costs, Adidas announced yesterday that it will open a new running shoe factory in Germany in 2017. The factory, located in Ansbach, will create 160 jobs. 

Adidas plans to open second factory with similar automation capabilities in the U.S., also in 2017. Together, Adidas says, the new “Speedfactories” will produce over a million pairs of shoes per year. 

The company’s Asian factories will continue to produce over 300 million pairs of shoes per year. AH