Adidas will be discontinuing production at two of its Speedfactories in German and the US by April. It is quite a turnaround for them after opening the first Speedfactory in Germany only four years ago. The project was a step away from the usual method of manufacturing shoes. Adidas built the factories to help make it faster and more flexible at producing footwear than ever before. By producing shoes in Europe and the US it would cut the time getting sneakers to shelves in those important markets. A big challenge Adidas faced with its Speedfactories was the limited number of models they could make. Initially they set up an automated Ansbach factory to make running shoes with a knit upper and Boost midsole. But it was incapable of making leather shoes with a rubber sole.
Any new style of shoe might require designing processes and potentially new machines to make them. A member of the Adidas board said that the company will use what it learned from its Speedfactories to be more economic. They will also have more flexibility in product design and be able to produce other styles, not only running shoes. Consumers will see more variations on styles it had made at Speedfactory. One big area of focus will be on Adidas’ 3D printed shoes.
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