The more than $20 million factory will be located at Cherokee 75 Corporate Park, a 135-acre industrial site. The park is in an Opportunity Zone, qualifying companies that locate there for a $3,500 tax credit per job created.
Georgia competed with at least five states for the project, including some in the Southeast, a source said.
The Speedfactory model, which relies on automation and production robots, challenges the idea of centralized production and makes the product closer to where the consumers are. That allows the manufacturer to be more flexible to changing consumer tastes and refresh product styles faster.
“This allows us to make product for the consumer, with the consumer, where the consumer lives in real time, (creating) opportunities for customization in America,” Herzogenaurach, Germany-based Adidas noted in a statement.
Adidas will produce 50,000 pairs of shoes in 2017 at the metro Atlanta plans, with plans to grow that volume to 500,000 pairs annually over time.
Using advanced manufacturing technologies and industrial robots, the factory allows Adidas to mass produce shoes in a variety of color, materials and sizes.
“With the first U.S.-based Speedfactory, we’re combining some of the world’s best technology and manufacturing processes to give our consumers access to constant newness,” Adidas Group Executive Board Member Glenn Bennett noted.
U.S. production allows Adidas to serve the massive U.S. market more efficiently — sourcing raw materials locally and reducing shipping costs.
Atlanta’s reputation as a “key transportation hub for the U.S.” and its deep sports history, made the region an attractive site to locate the plant, an Adidas spokeswoman said.
“Sports are core to who we are, and Atlanta is a hub for some of the best teams and events,” she said, noting the state has hosted “iconic sporting events,” including the SEC Championship Game, The Masters and the 1996 Olympics.
A globally accessible airport, low labor costs and a favorable tax climate make Georgia attractive to foreign manufacturers.
Chinese tire manufacturer Sentury Tire is eyeing Georgia for its first U.S. manufacturing plant. The first phase would involve a more than $500 million investment and the creation of more than 600 jobs. When fully built-out, the investment could rise to $1 billion and the workforce would swell to “several thousand.”