Major investments on the way
In our view, therefore, the question is not whether more money will be spent on cobots in the future, but when the big push will come. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, a US investment bank, estimates in a new report that the market for cobots will be around USD 500 million this year, rising to USD 1.8 billion in 2025. By then, however, they expect cobots to still only account for 6 per cent of the total number of installed robots, which means there is a great deal more growth potential, according to the investment bank.
In the shorter term, the corona crisis may provide a boost for the robotics and automation theme, including cobots. The pandemic has generally caused companies to hold back on investments. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, for example, estimates that European companies have EUR 462 billion ready to be spent on increased investment – and when companies invest, they naturally have a great deal of focus on investments that can benefit them going forward. So, becoming a smarter company would of course be high on the agenda.
Support from a second trend
The focus on smarter companies goes hand in hand with the trend of many companies moving production closer to consumers in the US and Europe to achieve a more robust supply and production chain. Investment in robotics and automation is vital here to reduce the economic burden of higher wages compared to the developing countries of Asia and so on.
If I right now had to select one equity market theme that in both the short and slightly longer term has a very attractive potential, it would be robotics and automation, with cobots as an important component of that.
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