VW boss Herbert Diess warns 30,000 auto workers might lose their job

This is a serious problem, but no one is taking it seriously

The transition towards electric mobility poses many questions that remain unanswered, and there are several collateral issues that no one is taking seriously. For the umpteenth time, here we are, once again, with the chairman of a large car group - VW in this instance - warning that “we may have to cut 30,000 jobs. And that’s in Germany alone.” VW currently employs over 600,000 people worldwide.

According to German magazine Handelsblatt, the shareholders, board members, institutions and the unions were “caught by surprise”. This, apparently, is because they had not been warned in advance about this, and, I’m afraid, because they’re apparently living on the Moon. Because that’s like saying “I wasn’t told water would freeze if I put it in the freezer”.

Electric vehicles require fewer components, and different service intervals. Furthermore, assembling an electric car takes less time, and fewer workers. Automakers know this. It‘s a serious problem, but no one is taking it seriously. One of the main issues, in my humble opinion, is that automakers have played nice for too long, failing to comprehensively explain the consequences of the ”EVs at all costs” policies that legislators have been putting in place.

In recent times, Akio Toyoda (Toyota), Carlos Tavares (Stellantis) and now Diess have all said - in various forms - that the electric transition will cause real-world issues, especially if we move too quickly and with no planning, and that the “full lifecycle analysis“ is what truly matters, [when it comes to carbon footprint] - “not just the tailpipe emissions.” But it’s too little and probably too late.

Technological progress always kills some jobs and creates new ones - we all know that - but this transition is being legislated, it isn‘t happening organically.

I know many people dislike EVs because they like V8s but this is a lot more complex than that. What is the end goal here? We all sort of assumed that using batteries instead of petrol was a means to an end. But it feels like institutions have got it into their heads that the ICE must go - at all costs - and it’ll have to be replaced by BEVs, and nothing else. At all costs.

You and I can’t do much about it, those of us who live in areas where petrol cаrs are banned will simply have to comply. On the other hand, manufacturers can do something about it, and if they think there are better, more sensible and less disruptive solutions to lower our carbon footprint without causing massive social and industrial problems in the process - and they clearly do - they should speak to their governments, not just to shareholders to share bad news that was welcomed with raised eyebrows and outrage, instead of a simple, much more appropriate “duh”.

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Comments (22)

  • Agreed. One of the many issues with this "revolution".

      10 days ago
  • We must stop Tesla from spreading electric cars to the entire planet. His force is so powerful and so do other electric cars.

      11 days ago
  • This has never been a surprise, manufacturers have been forced into electric vehicles due to legislation and climate change groups (they’d have continued with ICE’s). Damned of you do and damned if you don’t.

    They can make electric cars complicated but then they’ll be expensive, simplify and try to make them cheap, somethings got to give.

    The biggest problem is that no government is in for the long haul and they are all short term resulting in nobody thinking strategically for the greater good and this is the problem. We are at the start of problems that will last forever.

      8 days ago
    • Very pessimistic man very pessimistic but all too real

        8 days ago
  • Well this is of. No surprise. And what's worse is that Bev by themselves does very little to curb emissions and they aren't as scalable as combustion.

      8 days ago
  • What about many times that from Supply chain, like transmission manufacturers, casting for heads, cylinders and pistons, tool makers and so on and on and on. Dumbass politicians don't think of them. They look at a "big picture". Whatever hell that is!

      11 days ago