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German Robotics Industry Anticipates Slower Growth

The German robotics industry is predicting significantly slower growth this year compared to 2023. Despite this, the expected 2 percent increase in revenue is projected to set a new record at 16.5 billion euros. Last year, companies in the sector boosted their revenues by 13 percent, reaching the previous high of 16.2 billion euros.

“The robotics and automation industry is treading water in a weak domestic economy,” explained Frank Konrad, Chairman of the VDMA Robotics + Automation Association, regarding the current forecast. The sector expects growth this year to come solely from international markets, where orders in the first four months have risen by 21 percent compared to the same period last year.

In the European market, the industry is preparing for increased competition from China. Trade conflicts with the United States are prompting Chinese companies to strengthen their local service and sales structures in Germany and the EU. “Germany needs a reliable investment framework and new incentives to enhance its competitiveness,” Konrad urged.

The German robotics industry has been a global leader, known for its innovation and quality. However, the current economic climate presents several challenges. Domestically, the sluggish economy has led to stagnation, with many companies finding it difficult to expand or invest in new technologies. This stagnation contrasts sharply with the previous year’s robust growth, highlighting the volatility of the market.

Internationally, the situation appears more promising. The substantial increase in orders from abroad suggests that there is still strong global demand for German robotics and automation solutions. This demand is likely driven by the ongoing digital transformation and the need for advanced manufacturing capabilities in various industries worldwide.

However, the growing presence of Chinese companies in the European market is a significant concern. These companies are not only entering the market but are also establishing substantial service and sales infrastructures. This strategic move is likely to increase competition, making it imperative for German companies to innovate and improve their offerings continuously.

Konrad’s call for a reliable investment framework is particularly pertinent in this context. For Germany to maintain its leading position in the robotics industry, it must provide a conducive environment for both existing companies and new entrants. This includes ensuring stable regulatory conditions, offering incentives for research and development, and facilitating access to funding.

Moreover, fostering collaboration between industry and academia could drive innovation. By supporting joint research projects and technology transfer initiatives, Germany can leverage its strong educational and research institutions to develop cutting-edge robotics technologies.

In conclusion, while the German robotics industry faces slower growth and increased competition, there are still opportunities for advancement. By focusing on international markets, fostering innovation, and ensuring a supportive investment environment, the industry can continue to thrive and set new benchmarks in the global robotics landscape.