Athletic apparel maker Adidas announced Tuesday that it will discontinue production at its only sneaker factories in the US and Germany and move their production to Asia.
Production at Adidas' two "Speedfactories" in Atlanta, GA and Ansbach, Germany, will be discontinued by April 2020 at the latest.
In a press release, the company said it will use its Speedfactory technologies to produce athletic footwear at two of its suppliers in Vietnam and China, which it expects to result in better utilization of existing production capacity and more flexibility in production design.
"Adidas consumers will benefit as the combination of existing technical possibilities of the suppliers, and new production methods developed in Ansbach and Atlanta, will allow for more variations of Speedfactory footwear models in the future," the Herzogenaurach, Germany-based company stated. "These will continue to be characterized by a particularly short production time, allowing the company to continue to respond quickly to consumer needs."
Adidas said that the production process tested at the Atlanta and Ansbach factories will be put to use for running shoes and models of other product categories, enabling short turnaround times. The company added that it will continue to develop, improve and test manufacturing processes in Germany, and that it will continue its collaboration with OECHSLER — the operator of both Speedfactories — in other manufacturing areas such as the production of soles for shoes using Boost technology, soles for football shoes and 4D-printed soles.
"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," said Martin Shankland, ADIDAS AG executive board member responsible for global operations. "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."
"Whilst we understand adidas' reasons for discontinuing Speedfactory production at OECHSLER, we regret this decision," OECHSLER AG chief executive Dr. Claudius M. Kozlik added in the release. "At the same time, we look forward to continuing our close and trusting cooperation with adidas in the area of 4D sole printing. With the Speedfactory production for adidas, we have gained extremely valuable insights which have already been and will continue to be incorporated into the production of other OECHSLER Group divisions – Automotive, Medical and Innovative Solutions."