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.