Interview: Swiss Engineering Giant ABB Ramps Up Robotics Business in China: Chairman

by swisschambei in Engineering / Manufacturing

The chairman of Swiss technology and engineering firm ABB told Xinhua he was bullish about his company’s performance outlook for 2021 driven by its China business and strong push into robotics and e-mobility. “The first quarter (Q1) of this year was better than expected, both in revenue terms but also in profit terms,” Peter Voser told Xinhua on the side-lines of the 50th St. Gallen Symposium, a conference and student initiative taking place at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland in May every year. ABB, headquartered in Zurich, is a global technology and robotics leader with some 110,000 employees worldwide. In Q1, the company reported a 34% year-on-year jump in its net profit to 502 million U.S. dollars and expects orders and revenues to grow by more than 10 percent during the second quarter. “So all in all, I think a positive outlook for the second quarter, and then for the rest of the year. But there we haven’t given any numeric targets at this stage, but we are more positive than we used to be at the beginning of the year,” he said in the interview. China is ABB’s second largest market worldwide. Headquartered in Beijing, the company has around 15,000 employees in the country. Voser said the group’s China strategy is focused on an “in China, for China and the world” approach, which entails improving its local research and development (R&D) and innovation capabilities. “We are continuously investing in China,” Voser said. “Our biggest project at the moment is the new robot factory, which is also an R&D center and an automation artificial intelligence (AI) center for robotics, so it’s the value chain in which we are investing now.”

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