Industrial Robotics : Why France lags behind Germany

Renault-Sandouville-Chaines-Clio (Crédit Yannick Brossard)

34,000 to 162,000, the German victory over France in the field of robotics is, again, without appeal. Park industrial robots installed in German companies is five times greater than their French rivals. Italian companies have 61,000.
Under the “factory of the future” with the government, Roland Berger firm has completed a report for the DGCIS Symop and Gimélec to find explanations for this terrible delay. A report which highlights huge disparities between different industrial sectors. If the auto industry manages to replicate its powerful rival, he is not the case in other sectors, however, the keys to France.

The difference between French and German industries continues to grow

The assembly line sheetmetal of Renault Clio Renault Clio III and IV of the Renault Sandouville.  (Credit: Yannick Brossard)

The assembly line sheetmetal of Renault Clio Renault Clio III and IV in the Renault Sandouville plant. (Credit: Yannick Brossard)

Dropping the French industry faces its German rival is impressive. Between 2000 and 2012, the value produced by the German plants progressed by 37% to € 1.860 billion while the French factories rose by 13%, for a production of 928 billion euros. Our industry are still not able to reach again the level of production they had before the crisis of 2009. Downturn torpedoed the profitability of French factories but more serious for the future, the effort investment is lowest in France. It was 3.9% of sales against 4.8% for Germany and 7.2% for Italy. Between 2000 and 2012, German companies have invested $ 12 billion more each year, the Italian businesses $ 1 billion less, the French 5 billion less.

Only the automotive industry bears comparison


French companies and especially SMEs and ETI have eased off in terms of investment. Between 2002 and 2010, large companies have reduced their investments in France 5%, but increased their efforts abroad (43%). Not bad, but SMEs and ETI drank the cup over the same period: 19% in France, 25% abroad. Under such conditions, the park robots installed in France and the rate of aging robot is progressing slowly. It was installed 84 robots per 10,000 employees in 2012, against 125 in Germany. In addition, the report shows that this delay is very variable. Auto accuses 9% delay, food 55%, industry 85% metal. With only 12 robots per 10,000 employees, the electrical / electronics industry is three times worse than its German competitor.
Weakened by the lack of investment, the French industry is now playing in the second division. To halt this decline, the authors of the report believe that additional investment effort EUR 5 billion extra per year would keep 600,000 industrial jobs in the hexagon and generate 41 billion of added value for the country. The cost of such measures would be largely offset by additional revenues.
Source : “Robotisation : une étude nuance les retards de la France par rapport à l’Allemagne”, Les Echos, July, 11th 2014

[Translation from french by Google Translate]

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