The latest robot statistics for 2014 and forecast 2015-2018 were released by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR). Again, 2014 was the most successful year ever for new robot installations with the highest number of industrial and service robots ever sold. A useful overview report is available at this webpage (main homepage here).
A few major facts:
- In 2014, robot sales increased by 29% to 229,261 units, by far the highest level ever recorded for one year. Sales of industrial robots to all industries increased compared to 2013. The automotive parts suppliers and the electrical/electronics industry were the main drivers of the growth. China has considerably expanded its leading position as the biggest market with a share of 25% of the total supply in 2014.
- Asia (including Australia and New Zealand) was by far the biggest robot market with about 139,300 industrial robots sold in 2014, 41% higher than in 2013. This was the highest sales level ever recorded for the third year in a row. Industrial robot sales to the second largest market, Europe, increased by 5% to almost 45,600 units (a new peak). About 32,600 industrial robots were shipped to the Americas, 8% more than in 2013, reaching again a new peak for the third year in a row.
- There are five major markets representing 70% of the total sales volume in 2014: China, Japan, the United States, the Republic of Korea and Germany. Almost 29,300 industrial robots (+17%) were sold to Japan reaching the highest sales level in that country since 2008. Since 2013, Japan is the second largest market regarding annual sales. Robot sales in Japan followed a decreasing trend between 2005 (with the peak of 44,000 robot units) and 2009 (when sales dropped to only 12,800 units). Between 2010 and 2014, robot sales increased by 8% on average per year (CAGR).
- Italy is the second largest robot market in Europe after Germany. Worldwide, it ranked 7th in 2014. Total sales of industrial robots were up by 32%, to about 6,200 units in 2014. This was the second highest level ever recorded for one year after 2001. This is a clear sign of economic recovery in Italy. Between 2010 and 2013, annual robot sales to Italy were rather weak due to the critical economic situation. The French robot market also recovered substantially in 2014, by 36% to almost 3,000 units. Sales to Turkey continued to increase in 2014. Robot sales in the Czech Republic and in Poland increased substantially, while other Central and Eastern European markets were down in 2014.
- In Spain, sales of industrial robots decreased by 16% to about 2,300 units in 2014. After considerable investments in Spain between 2011 and 2013, sales to the automotive industry were significantly down in 2014, while almost all other industries continued to increase robot investments substantially. Sales of industrial robots to the United Kingdom further decreased in 2014 to almost 2,100 units after considerable investments of the automotive industry in 2011 and 2012. Robot sales to Belgium/Netherlands, which had followed an increasing trend up to 2013, decreased in 2014. Sales to Sweden were also down in 2014.