Following the start-up of its new production facility in Shanghai, KUKA celebrated its opening in the company of guests from China and abroad. At center stage was one of the best-known Germans in China: table tennis star Timo Boll. The premiere of the film, in which Boll competes against a KUKA robot, was a highlight of the event.
With 350 jobs and an annual capacity of up to 5,000 robots, the German robot manufacturer started up production at KUKA’s new Chinese subsidiary at the end of last year. The brand-new production facility of KUKA Roboter GmbH in Shanghai, covering an area of 20,000 square meters, now produces KUKA industrial robots and controllers directly in China for the Asian region. “China is the world’s largest and fastest-growing robot market. We have a longstanding partnership with many renowned Chinese customers. In order to accommodate continued growth, we have now significantly increased our capacity in Shanghai,” says Dr. Till Reuter, CEO of KUKA AG.
KUKA’s management invited customers, partners and employees from China and abroad to the official opening ceremony. The new KUKA brand ambassador, table tennis star Timo Boll, was present as well. The multiple European Champion and winner of the World Cup maintains a close relationship with his second athletic home: Boll is a superstar in China.
Prior to the opening ceremony, KUKA had attracted public attention around the globe with a marketing campaign. The company promoted an elaborately produced video in which Timo Boll was shown competing against a KUKA KR AGILUS robot. The film was released just in time for the opening ceremony in Shanghai (www.kuka-timoboll.com). The announcement alone, in the form of a teaser video, already has over one million hits on various video platforms. The fact that an artistically staged advertisement created such a sensation in advance was a pleasant surprise for table tennis star Timo Boll: “Wherever I go, people mention the video. The campaign with KUKA is not only fun, but has also generated positive publicity for table tennis all over the world. That of course makes me especially happy.”
However, KUKA does not intend to win customers in Asia with the popular campaign alone. Above all, it plans to strengthen its market position in the Asian region with shorter delivery times and closer customer proximity. Kong Bing, CEO of KUKA Robotics China, explains: “The demand in China for automation solutions with industrial robots is enormous. I am delighted that our new production facility puts us in such an excellent position here.” Shanghai is now the KUKA hub in Asia. KUKA’s ties with China are nothing new. The intensive contacts with the Middle Kingdom began at the end of the 90s. KUKA has had its own subsidiary in China since 2000.