Ulrich Spiesshofer, who took over as CEO of ABB in 2013, said in an interview with Reuters that the company is planning to expand its industrial robot manufacturing facility in Auburn Hills, Michigan, which delivered its first robot in March 2017. ABB is counting on further growth in demand for industrial robots from automakers and other sectors, such as the food and beverage industry. According to Spiesshofer, U.S. automakers have caught up with Japanese and German rivals in the level of factory automation and the next phase is about portfolio differentiation and expansion as automakers build more electric cars. The new capacity addition comes after recent announcements by Japanese rivals FANUC and Yaskawa Electric who are both planning on adding more capacity in China to meet surging demand there. Yaskawa wants to raise global its monthly production to 5,000 units per month (from 3,000 today) by 2019. Fanuc targets an increase of 8,000 units of production a month in 3Q 2018.