Cross border acquisition vs independent R & D of M

2022-06-26
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Cross border acquisition vs independent research and development. Who is the dominant robot between Midea and Gree

in recent years, the two giants have begun to focus on the layout of intelligent manufacturing business. Midea is ambitious to buy KUKA, one of the four largest robots in Germany. Gree has also continuously demonstrated its independently developed industrial robots and CNC machine tools on various occasions

according to the existing data, Midea is far ahead in this field by virtue of the industrial position of KUKA, Germany. In 2018, the revenue of Midea robotics and automation business segment reached 25.68 billion yuan, accounting for 9.89% of the revenue. Gree's revenue in the field of intelligent equipment was only 3.11 billion yuan, accounting for 1.57% of the revenue

however, two different development logics make the future trend especially worth looking forward to. In 2018, KUKA's business income declined in an all-round way for final acceptance of equipment, and its after tax profit plummeted by 81.2%. Whether it can speed up the development of the Chinese market will determine the quality of this marriage. And Gree, behind the aura of independent research and development, also has a long way to go before it can truly gain market recognition

in the intelligent manufacturing market, how to replicate the success of home appliances is a big challenge for Midea and Gree

after two years of elephant marriage, KUKA's profits plummeted by 80%

Midea can also engage in independent R & D and robot teams. However, to reach the scale and strong development strength of KUKA, Midea's independent development will take a long time, the task is arduous, and the time will not wait for us

on January 6, 2017, Midea successfully acquired KUKA of Germany at a premium of 36.2% at a price of 29.2 billion yuan, with a shareholding ratio of more than 94.5%. Midea's management has used the above words to express their feelings. They frankly say that the acquisition of KUKA is Midea's largest strategic investment, and the return cycle may be very long, but Midea is aiming at the future

Midea's acquisition of KUKA robot in Germany further highlights Shunde enterprises' willingness to pursue the world. Photo by Dai Jiaxin of the South

now, the real challenges are beginning to highlight

KUKA, together with abb in Sweden, FANUC in Japan and Yaskawa in Japan, is known as the top four families of robots in the world, and has always been regarded as the representative enterprise of German industry 4.0

2018 is the second performance year after the marriage. However, the robot and automation system business, which is highly expected, has become the only business with declining revenue of Midea Group

according to the annual report, the revenue of Midea Group's robotics and automation system business (including KUKA, etc.) was 25.678 billion yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 5.03%, and its proportion in the revenue of Midea fell from 11.23% to 9.89%

this performance is related to the steep fall in KUKA's performance last year: in 2018, KUKA's order revenue was 3.3 billion euros, a year-on-year decrease of 8.5%; The revenue was 3.2 billion euros, a year-on-year decrease of 6.8%; The EBIT margin was 3%, a year-on-year decrease of 1.3 percentage points; After tax profit was 16.6 million euros, down 81.2%

on the one hand, KUKA company said that the decline in performance was affected by the slowdown of global economic growth; On the other hand, the company's R & D investment in 2018 increased by 18% year-on-year, reaching 152million euros (1.145 billion yuan)

Midea Group said that the slowdown of KUKA's performance in fiscal 2018 was mainly due to the slowdown of overall economic growth since the fourth quarter of 2018, which affected KUKA's two important strategic markets: the automotive industry and the electronics industry. The sales revenue of the above industries accounts for more than 50% of the total revenue of KUKA. Another factor is the slowdown in the growth of the Chinese market

it is worth noting that at the end of 2018, tillreuter, the former CEO of KUKA, resigned early, which also brought some uncertainty to KUKA's fate. According to the plan, his term of office was originally to 2020

according to foreign media reports, when KUKA announced the reduction of performance targets last October, it caused dissatisfaction from the major shareholder Midea Group and directly led to the resignation of former CEO Roy t

on March 28 this year, KUKA announced that it would cut 350 employees in Augsburg, the German headquarters, saying that the layoffs were part of the company's cost control plan. KUKA plans to achieve the cost reduction target of 300million euros by 2021

can Chinese capital promote the rise of made in China

attracting other excellent enterprises through investment and acquisition is in line with the consistent operation logic of Midea

in the field of intelligent manufacturing, Midea has established two joint ventures with Yaskawa, Japan since 2015. One of them produces industrial robots, 100% of which are supplied to Midea, and the other produces nursing and rehabilitation robots

unlike ABB's involvement in electrical engineering, FANUC's involvement in CNC machine tools, and Yaskawa's involvement in motors and other industrial equipment, KUKA is the only automation company in the four robot families whose business is concentrated in the field of industrial robots. According to the data published by KUKA, it has more than 4000 relevant patented technologies in the world, of which about 150 patents are common in China, the United States, Japan, Europe and South Korea

based on this, Midea Group intends to make use of its technical strength to promote intelligent transformation and upgrading, and gain access to the global industrial robot market

however, it is worth noting that, in response to the German government's concern about the outflow of enterprise confidential technology, Midea once issued an investment agreement with a validity of 7.5 years when signing the M & a agreement, which contained five articles. None of them involved technology transfer. Instead, Midea emphasized respect for KUKA's brand and intellectual property rights, entered into a quarantine agreement, and promised to keep its trade secrets and customer data confidential, so as to maintain a stable relationship between KUKA and its customers and suppliers

jointly exploring the Chinese market is regarded by both sides as the first step to break the situation

in 2018, Midea accelerated the business integration of KUKA in China, and established three joint ventures with KUKA in China, with each shareholder holding 50% of the shares

Midea said that the establishment of the joint venture will further promote the expansion of business in the three major fields of industrial robots, medical treatment and warehouse automation in the Chinese market, comply with the rapid development needs of the Chinese market in intelligent manufacturing, intelligent medical treatment and intelligent logistics, new retail and other aspects, develop products and solutions suitable for the needs of Chinese customers, and realize the overall and rapid growth of the automation business segment

in the intelligent production workshop of Midea Group, several robots are applied to the production line of air conditioning remote control. Photo by Dai Jiaxin in the South

Shunde, the headquarters of Midea, has naturally become the focus of the layout

in March last year, Midea KUKA intelligent manufacturing industrial base also officially settled in Shunde. The first phase of the project covers an area of about 433 mu, and the first phase investment is about 2billion yuan. Nanfang + learned that the base has started trial production, and some plant projects are planned to be put into operation in June this year. According to Midea's plan, the robot production capacity of the base will reach 75000 units per year by 2024. With the existing production capacity, the total robot production capacity in China will reach 100000 units per year

at present, the labor-intensive 3C and electronic industries in the Pearl River Delta are gradually entering the bottleneck of development. Shunde factory is aiming at the strategic layout in this regard. After the project is completed and put into operation, it will form an industrial model integrating production, research and marketing, which is expected to drive the development and upgrading of intelligent manufacturing industry in the Pearl River Delta and even South China

can Midea and KUKA seize this opportunity to become the most important robot giants in China's industrial robot industry? There is less and less time left for them

experimental operators are not allowed to touch them casually. According to the statistics of China robot industry alliance, a total of 37800 domestic industrial robots were sold in 2017, with a year-on-year increase of 29.8%. With the rise of domestic industrial robots with independent brands, the market shares of the four families in China will inevitably be swallowed up

if the cooperation between the two sides in the Chinese market can sweep away the decline, the road of integration will be more smooth in the future. Whether Midea can promote the rise of made in China with Chinese capital remains to be seen

Gree's stubbornness

compared with Midea, Gree chose a more difficult road

Chinese enterprises are making it difficult for manufacturers of thermal insulation materials and departments responsible for fire inspection to become rich. There is nothing that cannot be purchased. Why should we do it ourselves? If the technology is in the hands of others, you are too sad to be an enterprise. I just don't want to feel sad any more, so I have to research and develop independently. It is better to slow down for three years than to independently research and develop and master core technology. Dongmingzhu has great determination

she shared a story on many occasions. In 2001, Gree purchased technology from Japanese enterprises, only to be rejected. This also prompted Gree to make up its mind to invest in the independent research and development of core technologies

2013, Gree began to lay out the intelligent equipment industry. In 2015, Zhuhai Gree Intelligent Equipment Co., Ltd. was established. In August of the same year, the first intelligent equipment Industrial Park was established in Wuhan. In 2016, Gree intelligent equipment products began to yearn for promotion and sales

nowadays, the products independently developed by Gree intelligent equipment cover more than 10 fields, such as CNC machine tools, industrial robots, servo manipulators, intelligent storage equipment, intelligent detection, large-scale automated production lines, etc., with more than 100 product specifications. It has provided services for many industries, such as home appliances, automobiles, food, 3C digital, building materials, sanitary ware, etc.

at the same time, Gree claims to have successfully realized The independent research and development of the three core components of controller and motor has become a domestic enterprise that masters the production technology of the three core components of robot at the same time. Last May, Gree Electric announced that its high-performance servo motor and driver technology for industrial robots had been identified by the expert group as reaching the international advanced level

Gree intelligent equipment has successfully realized the independent research and development of the three core components of reducer, controller and motor, and has become the first enterprise in China to master the production technology of the three core components of robot at the same time. Photographed by guanmingrong of South China

from the data, the revenue scale of Gree intelligent equipment business has also been gradually expanding in the past few years

from 161million yuan in 2016 to 2126million yuan in 2017, and then to 3.11 billion yuan in 2018. If this data alone, Gree can already be among the top two local robots

according to the statistics of China robot industry alliance, in terms of value, the overall market value of industrial robots sold by domestic robot enterprises in the first half of 2018 was only 2.89 billion yuan

however, a large number of connected transactions have compromised the persuasiveness of this data: according to the 2018 annual report of Gree Electric, its intelligent equipment business was sold to Yinlong series companies actually controlled by the company's chairman dongmingzhu in that year alone, with a revenue of more than 2.6 billion yuan, accounting for more than 80% of the whole business

however, intelligent equipment itself is an industry that needs long-term exploration and experience. It is also in line with the market logic to apply from the automation transformation of its own factory, obtain a lot of practical application experience, and constantly revise it. The equipment is debugged and run in on the platform of its own large manufacturing factory, and then put into the market after the performance is stable

in addition, whether Gree can master the core technology is a very important aspect. Whether Gree can cultivate a group of local excellent scientific researchers is also related to its future development. At present, Gree has reserved the whole system resources from research institutes to technical personnel in the field of intelligent equipment, with R & D and technical personnel accounting for more than 50%

generally speaking, compared with Meili, Gree intelligent equipment has a slow development path, but the prospect is also worth looking forward to. Especially in contrast to Gree itself

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