Digitalization can slow job loss in the automotive industry

Digitalization can slow job loss in the automotive industry

The switch to electric cars will cost tens of thousands of jobs in the industry in the coming years – but the simultaneous progress in digitizing vehicles has been able to absorb most of the loss.

This is the conclusion of a study by the institute of automotive economics (IFA) at the nurtingen-geislingen university of economics and environment, which contrasts the consequences of the two trends.

According to the study, the change in the car industry will, in the worst case, result in the loss of more than 170,000 jobs by 2030.000 jobs from the current level of around 613.000 jobs at manufacturers and suppliers in germany will be sacrificed. In the best case scenario, there would only be about a tenth. However, all new digital vehicle components and also the batteries for the electric cars had to be produced in germany, write the authors of the study led by IFA director willi diez.

By digitalization, diez and his team mean above all the networking of cars, i.E. The connection of vehicle parts to one another, but especially the networking of the car with the outside world, for example via driver assistance systems. "The share of digital components in the total value of a vehicle is expected to rise from 4.9 percent today to around 14.0 percent in 2030," predicts diez. "This would correspond to a value of digital components of 4500 euros per vehicle."

For their study, the scientists calculated various scenarios: slow or fast transition to electric cars, with or without production of the digital components in germany, with or without production of the batteries.

"Fewer employees are needed for the structurally simpler electric drives – you can spin that any way you want," said IG metall boss jorg hofmann recently. But even there, there will be more complex products. "We also have an increase in employment in areas such as autonomous driving, which opens up new business models that no longer have anything to do with traditional production," hofmann said.

The industry is already adapting. "We already hire almost as many IT specialists as we do mechanical engineers, and the trend is upward," BMW personnel director milagros caina-andree told the frankfurter allgemeine zeitung newspaper. Electromobility and digitalization are also key topics at the international motor show (IAA), which begins this week in Frankfurt.

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