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Maya Xiao Author
Senior Research Analyst - China
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Maya has an interdisciplinary technical background in vehicle electrification, system automation and robotics. She is now the lead analyst for Interact Analysis’ Li-ion battery and forklift research, also covering markets for industrial and collaborative robots. 


“The downturn of 2019 and the shock of the pandemic tripped up the industrial robots market, but it only stumbled. Factors such as staff shortages, social distancing, the ever-pressing need for efficiency and speed, and the realisation of the need to build in resilience in the face of world shocks such as COVID-19 mean that now more than ever, industries across the globe recognise the value of robotics. We believe the next few years will see the sector recover its footing and thrive.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has not been the only drag on the robot market in the last 2 years. Even pre-COVID, 2019 was not a good year. Economic downturn, weak demand from the global automotive and electronics industries, and geo-political tensions all played their part in subduing global growth. Then came the virus to further disrupt an already weak economy. The robotics industry was hit particularly hard in those two years, seeing consecutive years of negative growth.

In our new industrial robots report, Interact Analysis highlights the downturn for robotics by looking at our own predictions made in Q3 2019 in the second edition of the report, and comparing them with revised figures made in the new third edition.

Full Description

This report aims to answer some of the key questions facing the Industrial Robot Industry:

  • What was the size of the global market for industrial robots in 2018 & 2019? How fast will the market grow over the next five years?
  • How will the COVID-19 pandemic impact 2020 growth? Will it play a positive role for long-term robotic employment?
  • How will the downturn in automotive as well as 3C electronics industries affect the industrial robot market?
  • Which industry and application segments offer the greatest opportunity? How does this vary by region/country?
  • How will growth markets like China impact the global industrial robot market? • How will the industrial robot product mix change over the next five years? And what impact it will this have on components?
  • Who were the leading suppliers of industrial robots in 2018/2019? How does this vary by region, industry and application?
  • How will the competitive landscape change? Will there be more competition between emerging players and traditional players?
  • What is the growth potential for collaborative robots? How will this technology impact existing product offerings?
  • What impact will evolving technology such as machine vision, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and 5G have on the market.

Key Findings

  • Our latest forecast shows industrial robot shipment at over 80,000 units lower than the previous forecast in 2020. Not all of this reduction is due to COVID-19; some can be attributed to a reduced base in 2019.
  • Our latest predicts that the global industrial robot market will fall by 11.1% in revenue terms, while falling 5.9% in shipment terms in 2020.
  • In our latest forecast all robot types except articulated robot unit shipments can recover to the level of 2019 before 2021.
  • Although the markets of all regions in 2020 have shrunk, the impact on the Asian regions, especially China, is relatively small. In 2021, only the Chinese market is forecasted to surpass the size of 2019, mainly benefiting from a large domestic demand.
  • Global industrial robot shipments forecast to increase by over 9% in 2021, and a CAGR of 4.6% forecast for the period 2021-2024.
  • The “Big 4” suppliers continue to overwhelm and dominate the market despite new entrants, owning over 55% revenue share in total in 2020.
  • Interact Analysis forecasts the price of industrial robots will continue to decrease, at a rate of around 3-5% a year from 2021 to 2024.

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Posted by Maya Xiao

Maya has an interdisciplinary technical background in system automation, renewable energy, and intelligent connected vehicles. She is responsible for Interact Analysis’ Chinese industrial automation and NEV research.