“The economies in North America, Asia and Europe did not experience their Covid-19 low point at the same time,” says Milton Guerry, President of the International Federation of Robotics. “Order intake and production in the Chinese manufacturing industry began surging in the second quarter of 2020. The North American economy started to recover in the second half of 2020, and Europe followed suit a little later.”
Chinese robot manufacturers mainly catered to the domestic market, where they held a market share of 27% in 2020 (45,000 units). This share has with some volatility been constant in the past 8 years. In 2020, installations of foreign robots – including units produced in China by non-Chinese suppliers – grew strongly by 24% to 123,000 units in 2020 with a total market share of 73%.
Global robot installations are expected to rebound strongly and grow by 13% to 435,000 units in 2021, thus exceeding the record level achieved in 2018. Installations in North America are expected to increase by 17% to almost 43,000 units. Installations in Europe are expected to grow by 8% to almost 73,000 units. Robot installations in Asia are expected to exceed the 300,000-unit mark and add 15% to the previous year’s result.