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Industries invest heavily in robotics – European Union sales increase

Industrial robots in Europe are on the rise: The European Union’s (EU) 27 member states installed almost 72,000 units in 2022 – up six per cent year-on-year, according to preliminary figures presented by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR).  

“The top five adopting countries within the EU are Germany, Italy, France, Spain and Poland,” says Marina Bill, president of the International Federation of Robotics (IFR). “They account for about 70 per cent of all industrial robots installed within the EU in 2022.”


Germany is by far the largest robot market in Europe: about 26,000 units (+ three per cent) were installed in 2022. This was a share of 37 per cent of total EU installations. Worldwide, the country had the fourth highest robot density, following Japan, Singapore, and the Republic of Korea.  The automotive industry is traditionally the main customer of industrial robots in Germany, 27 per cent of the newly deployed robots were installed in this industry in 2022. This was 7,100 units, down 22 per cent from the previous year – a cyclical investment behaviour well known in this segment. In the general industry, the main customer was the metal sector which installed 4,200 units (+20 per cent) in 2022. This is above the pre-pandemic level that fluctuated around 3,500 units per year with a peak level of 3,700 units in 2019. Installations in the plastic and chemical products industry were back at a pre-pandemic level – up by seven per cent to 2,200 units in 2022.


Italy is the second largest robot market in Europe after Germany. An all-time high of almost 12,000 units (+ ten per cent) were installed in 2022. This was a share of 16 per cent of total EU installations. The country has a strong metal and machinery industry: sales reached 3,700 units in 2022 – up 18 per cent compared to the previous year. Robot sales in the plastic and chemical products industry grew by 42 per cent with 1,400 units installed. And the country also has a powerful food and beverages industry. Installations went up by nine per cent reaching 1,400 units in 2022. Demand from the automotive industry was down by 22 per cent to 900 units. This segment is dominated by the Stellantis Group that resulted from the merger of FIAT-Chrysler and PSA of France. 


The robot market in France ranked third in Europe in 2022. Annual installations went up by 15 per cent with a total number of 7,400 units. This is less than a third of the number of neighbouring Germany. The main customer is the metal industry with a market share of 22 per cent. The segment installed 1,600 units – up 23 per cent. The automotive industry grew by 19 per cent and reached 1,600 units. This represents a market share of 21 per cent. The French government’s €100bn stimulus package for investment in smart factory equipment that came into effect mid-2021 will create new demand for industrial robots in the coming years.


Annual installations in Spain grew by twelve per cent with a total number of 3,800 units. Robot installations are traditionally determined by the automotive industry. According to the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA), Spain is the second largest producer of cars in Europe following Germany. The car industry in Spain installed 900 units – up five per cent. Sales in the metal industry grew by 20 per cent and reached 900 units. Automotive and the metal industry accounted for almost 50 per cent of the robot installations in 2022.


Robot installations in Poland had been on a strong upward trajectory for nine years. Annual installations reached a total number of 3,100 units in 2022 – the second-best result after the new peak level of 3,500 units in 2021. Demand from the metal and machinery industry was up by 17 per cent to 600 units in 2022. The automotive industry displayed a cyclical demand with 500 units installed – down 37 per cent. The war in neighbouring Ukraine dampened manufacturing industries. But investments in digitalisation and automation technologies will benefit from a total of €160bn in EU investment support between 2021 and 2027. 

Robot installations in European countries, including non-EU member states, reached a total of 84,000 units – up three per cent in 2022.  The International Federation of Robotics is the voice of the global robotics industry. IFR represents national robot associations, academia, and manufacturers of industrial and service robots from over twenty countries:

The International Federation of Robotics statistical department provides data for two annual robotics studies:

World Robotics – Industrial Robots

This unique report provides global statistics on industrial robots in standardised tables and enables national comparisons to be made. It presents statistical data for around forty countries broken down into areas of application, customer industries, types of robots and other technical and economic aspects. Production, export and import data is listed for selected countries. It also offers robot density, i.e. the number of robots per 10,000 employees, as a measure for the degree of automation.

World Robotics - Service Robots

This unique report provides global statistics on service robots, market analyses, and forecasts on the worldwide distribution of professional and personal service robots. The study is jointly prepared with IFR’s partner Fraunhofer IPA, Stuttgart.