Adidas will start mass production of performance sports shoes in Ansbach, Germany by 2017. In this small town, the sportswear juggernaut established its pilot Speedfactory last December, a highly-automatized manufacturing facility that Adidas is currently testing and whose first pairs of shoes will be revealed later this year.
“The core focus of the project is being physically close to the customer […] We want to be able to respond to regional trends flexibly and quickly in the future, and to achieve this it makes more sense for us to produce regionally,” told Gerd Manz, vice president future at Adidas, to Sportswear International –find the full interview in our current Sneakers issue (pg. 80-81). The production project will enable that the time advantage gained in production isn’t forfeited by long transportation times –as it happens with manufacturing sites in the Far East. In words of Manz, Speedfactories are not a replacement to production in the Far East; they will complement what is already there.
Spanning across an area of 4,600 square meters, Adidas’ large-scale commercial production facility will be operated by partner Oechsler Motion GmbH. The brand aims to open a second Speedfactory in the US in the near future.