Daimler is pushing for an electric future but admits it will cost jobs

It's time to talk about this

The EU, China and the US are pushing car makers to ditch internal combustion engines in favour of battery-powered cars but many questions remain unanswered. What's gonna happen to exhausted batteries? Is producing batteries actually 'greener'? And lastly, what are we going to do with job losses? This is potentially going to become a huge problem and Ola Kallenius, CEO of Daimler, is one of the few key figures in the automotive who are taking this conversation seriously.

Autonews Europe, leading automotive portal and news outlet based in Munich, said that switching to EVs may create an "employment fiasco". The MEMA (Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association), a lobbyist group that represents over 1,000 vehicle suppliers in the US and IG Metall, a major metalworkers’ union in Germany, have both warned manufacturers and governments about this impending threat.

At the moment, there are 560,000 people working auto parts manufacturing jobs in North America and the MEMA said that 30% of these jobs could be lost in the coming years. Furthermore, a survey conducted by the IFO institute confirms that as many as 100,000 jobs could be rendered obsolete by 2025. And that's just in Germany.

Mercedes sold 43,000 plug-in hybrids and 16,000 EVs worldwide in Q1 2021 - 10% of their global sales - but if the trend continues, this percentage is likely to grow in the next few years and as building EVs requires fewer parts and components, and less labour, Kallenius admitted that manufacturers should be prepared to have “an honest conversation about jobs" very soon.

What is the potential solution to this problem?

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Comments (11)

  • Transfer jobs from production to the recycling of the expired batteries. It won't save all of the affected jobs but it's a starting point. Should be added to the discussion. Both have to happen. Batteries and jobs.

    Another batch of employees can be moved to battery production.

    That's all I got.

      2 months ago
    • I suppose that green cars are supposed to be powered by green energy? And that is good news for workers. Green energy is expected to hire a lot of maintenance staff over the next year. The job growth in green energy is expected to grow...

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        2 months ago
  • It simply takes less work to build an EV, simple as that. HOWEVER... there are many new jobs materialising as we all trade up and buy into new greener energy and systems. Solar roofs need fitting. Power walls need fitting. New charging points need fitting as well as manufacturing. Other EV manufacturers are opening new car factories. Battery manufacturers are springing up all over the place and many new energy conservation businesses are opening to provide us with various alternatives to the same old same old. Former car builders are perfectly skilled to walk straight into many of these jobs, with only a minimum of training. Jobs aren't being lost, just moved into different businesses. If you are familiar with a spanner, you'll find employment these days.

      2 months ago
    • GREAT answer. This was my train of thinking. Other jobs will be created related to the EV industry. All is NOT lost. Those people will need to be employed elsewhere but that's not impossible to solve. In fact, as per what you allude to, other...

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        2 months ago
  • The only jobs that can be transfer from ICE production to EV manufacturing are those in lithium & cobalt mining in CONGO and CHINA !!! good for the future employees who will accept !

    EV propaganda have no future

      2 months ago
  • Daimler is pushing for an electric future but admits it will cost jobs @tribe

      2 months ago
  • I work for JLR in the midlands (uk) we’ve already lost all agency workers primarily to the global chip shortage but within the next 9 years the area I work in (drivetrain) is gonna change significantly. We reckon it’ll go from roughly 500 to about 150 workers just in this department mostly through voluntary redundancy schemes. Just look at the hundreds of components on an ICE compared to an EV, our ICE’s arrive pretty much bare and we assemble them- fuel lines/pumps/starter/belts/diffs/driveshafts etc, now look at an EV, motor/battery/wiring harness on a skateboard. The company doesn’t care about jobs, they’ll do whatever it takes to remain competitive and sell as many cars as possible, when we hear them talk about moving to a more sustainable future we know that just means more autonomy and less humans.

      2 months ago
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