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HERZOGENAURACH – Adidas has announced it will cease production at the two ‘Speedfactories’ it built in Germany and the US by April. The move comes as a surprise given that the factories were only opened four years and were at the time heralded as the future for adidas. The business worked with technology partner Oechsler to build the factories, where a key theme was automation, flexibility and the ability to create small batches of customised sneakers. Oechsler said it regretted the decision by adidas to close the factories.

Production at the two Speedfactories in Ansbach, Germany, and Atlanta, USA, will be discontinued by April 2020 at the latest. In the future, adidas said it will concentrate on modernising its other suppliers and using 4D technology in footwear production.

The speedfactory concept – in theory – would have allowed adidas to produce in the US and Europe, which would help it cut the time needed to get products on shelves in key markets. Adidas had indicated it would build a global network of such factories. Dr. Claudius M. Kozlik, CEO of Oechsler, said: “Whilst we understand adidas’ reasons for discontinuing Speedfactory production at Oechsler, we regret this decision. At the same time, we look forward to continuing our close and trusting cooperation with adidas in the area of 4D sole printing.”

“The knowledge we gained from setting up and operating the Speedfactories was made possible through constructive cooperation with Oechsler and the team there. With this, we have pioneered new manufacturing processes, including significant reduction in production time of athletic footwear. We very much regret that our collaboration in Ansbach and Atlanta has come to an end and thank all project participants for their commitment. At the same time, we are pleased to continue our partnership with Oechsler in other areas, especially in advanced 4D printing,” Martin Shankland, member of the executive board at adidas said.

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