2023 North American Robot Orders Down 30% from 2022 - Modern Distribution Management

Log In

2023 North American Robot Orders Down 30% from 2022

A report from A3 shows that annual 2023 sales were near equal for automotive and non-automotive industries.
robot arm working in car factory

Robot sales in North America took a considerable downshift in 2023 after a record 2022 and 2021, according to the latest report from the Association for Advancing Automation (A3). 

The firm shared that North American companies purchased 31,159 robots in 2023, compared to 44,196 ordered in 2022 and 39,708 in 2021.

The 2023 orders were divided almost equally among automotive (15,723 robots sold) and non-automotive companies (15,536) — a 34% drop in ales to automotive OEMs and automotive suppliers vs. 2022 and a 25% total decrease in all other industries.

“While robot sales naturally ebb and flow, the return to more typical robot sales after the last two record years can likely be attributed to a few obvious issues: a slow U.S. economy, higher interest rates and even the over-purchasing of robots in 2022 from supply chain concerns,” A3 President Jeff Burnstein said in a Feb. 12 news release. “We’ve seen a slowdown in the manufacturing of electronic vehicles this year along with fewer new distribution centers, both likely reducing the demand for robots. From what we’re hearing in our member surveys and at recent events, however, optimism is strong for growth, potentially picking up in the second half of the year. In fact, we anticipate record numbers at our Automate Show in May as more companies prepare for new automation projects.”

A3’s data found that in 2023, the strongest demand for robots from non-automotive companies came from the metal industry, followed by semiconductor & electronics/photonics; food & consumer goods; life sciences, pharmaceutical and biomedical, plastics & rubber, and others. 

While each of those industries showed an overall 2023 orders decline, A3 noted that the year’s fourth quarter saw higher sales in automotive (both OEM & components), metals, semiconductor & electronics/photonics, plastics & rubbers, metals and the All Other Industries category, leading to a sequential increase of 20% vs. 3Q23. The All Other Industries category includes companies in areas such as construction, hospitality and agriculture, typically newer to robotics.   

“While robotic sales were down over the year, 2023 ended with both an increase over the previous quarter and a nearly equal number of sales from automotive and non-automotive companies,” Burnstein added. “Both are promising signs that more industries are becoming increasingly comfortable with automation overall. While we expect to see automotive orders rise again, there’s little doubt that orders will increase from all non-automotive industries as they recognize how robots can help them overcome their unique challenges.”

Related Posts

Share this article

About the Author
Recommended Reading
Leave a Reply

Leave a Comment

Sign Up for the MDM Update Newsletter

The MDM update newsletter is your best source for news and trends in the wholesale distribution industry.

Get the MDM Update Newsletter

Wholesale distribution news and trends delivered right to your inbox.

Sign-up for our free newsletter and get:

  • Up-to-date news in a quick-to-read format
  • Free access to webcasts, podcasts and live events
  • Exclusive whitepapers, research and reports
  • And more!


articles left

Want more Premium content from MDM?

Subscribe today and get:

  • New issues twice each month
  • Unlimited access to mdm.com, including 10+ years of archived data
  • Current trends analysis, market data and economic updates
  • Discounts on select store products and events

Subscribe to continue reading

MDM Premium Subscribers get:

  • Unlimited access to MDM.com
  • 1 year digital subscription, with new issues twice a month
  • Trends analysis, market data and quarterly economic updates
  • Deals on select store products and events



You have one free article remaining

Subscribe to MDM Premium to get unlimited access. Your subscription includes:

  • Two new issues a month
  • Access to 10+ years of archived data on mdm.com
  • Quarterly economic updates, trends analysis and market data
  • Store and event discounts

To continue reading, you must be an MDM Premium subscriber.

Join other distribution executives who use MDM Premium to optimize their business. Our insights and analysis help you enter the right new markets, turbocharge your sales and marketing efforts, identify business partners that help you scale, and stay ahead of your competitors.

Register for full access

By providing your email, you agree to receive announcements from us and our partners for our newsletter, events, surveys, and partner resources per MDM Terms & Conditions. You can withdraw consent at any time.

Learn More about Custom Reports

Request a Market Prospector Demo

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.