10 Jan 2024 15:08

German industrial robot manufacturer KUKA hands Russian business over to local management

MOSCOW. Jan 10 (Interfax) - German manufacturer of industrial robots KUKA Robotics, owned by Chinese holding Midea, has turned its Russian business over to the temporary management of top managers in the local representative office, the company told Interfax.

The agreement between KUKA AG and the management of Kuka Robotics LLC was signed on December 29, 2023. The company then changed its name to Industrial Robotics LLC. Peter Smolentsev, the previous commercial director, became the general director, with 95% of the company's shares coming under his control. The remaining 5% is now held by CFO Sergei Katkov. The company has not disclosed the details of the transaction.

Industrial Robotics is operating and maintaining existing business processes and plans to continue fulfilling its obligations to customers, including supporting users of its industrial robots. As the company noted, KUKA, managed by Midea, has production in China and is one of the three largest manufacturers of industrial robots in this country.

"We continue to exchange experience with our Chinese colleagues. Today the Industrial Robotics team is the only engineering team in Russia that has international expertise in the implementation and maintenance of reliable KUKA robots," Smolentsev noted.

The official representative office of KUKA AG in Russia was opened in 2007. The company says that every second industrial robot operating at enterprises in Russia and the CIS is a KUKA robot. In total, this would come to more than 4,400 machines. The company's specialists are continuing to provide service support.

KUKA robots are widely used by automakers, including Russia's Avtovaz and Kamaz . The first automated KUKA complexes started shipping to Russia in 1974. Contract manufacturing was organized in 1984 at facilities belonging to Avtovaz. By 2004, 1,500 KUKA brand robots had been assembled.

The SPARK-Interfax analytical system shows that the RAS 2022 revenue of the KUKA Russian representative office fell over 50% to about 420 million rubles. The company shows a 75 million net loss versus a profit in 2021.