U.S. companies cut back on installing robots in 2019

FILE PHOTO: The aluminium cab of all-new 2015 F-150 pick-up truck moves down the robot assembly line at the Ford Rouge Center in Dearborn, Michigan, November 11, 2014. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook/File Photo/File Photo

The robot invasion slowed a bit last year.

U.S. companies installed fewer robots in 2019 than they did the year before, the first cut back since 2015, as a downturn in manufacturing fueled by trade wars and weaker demand dampened appetite for the machines.

Shipments fell to 23,758, a more than 16% drop, according to data seen by Reuters that was set for release on Tuesday by the Association for Advancing Automation, an industry group based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Robot shipments also fell in Mexico last year, declining 25% to 3,263, while shipments in Canada roughly held steady at just over 3,000 units.

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