Volkswagen could have to do without up to 30,000 jobs if you don’t complete your transition to electric car fast enough, according to Herbert Diess, Volkswagen CEO. He said this at a meeting of the board of directors held last September, as indicated to Reuters.
For Herbert Diess, competition from other brands in the German market and the presence of Tesla, which is building a factory in the Berlin area, have pushed the company to accelerate its transformation towards electric mobility, explained Diess.
A company spokesperson confirmed that the presence of Tesla and others in Germany heightened the urgency of the transition to electric cars, but denied that specific calculations had been made on how many jobs could be lost in the process.
In fact, a spokesperson for the Volkswagen works council explained that “a reduction of 30,000 jobs is absurd and without foundation.” Another spokesman for the Lower Saxony region union, Volkswagen’s second-largest shareholder, said such cuts were not contemplated.
A priori, fewer people are needed to make an electric car than a gasoline
To get an idea of what it means to make electric cars versus combustion cars, Tesla plans to produce 500,000 cars a year in Germany with 12,000 employees. In the Berlin Gigafactory car batteries will be manufactured and initially the Model Y (from december), to later add the Model 3.
In front, the 25,000 employees from the Volkswagen factory in Wolfburg produce 700,000 cars per year. From Wolfsburg the whole range of the Volkswagen Golf, including GTE plug-in hybrids and Golf GTi sports versions and Golf R, the entire range of the Volkswagen Tiguan, with the exception of the Allspace, the Volkswagen Touran and the entire range of the SEAT Tarraco, including version e-Hybrid plug-in.
Thus, we understand that Diess’s warning is not so much whether the move to the electric car will cause jobs to be destroyed, but a call to improve productivity, not to delay the inevitable any longer and above all that Tesla does not overtake them for the right.
Will there be job loss due to the switch to electric car? According to a study from the Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, the answer is an alarming yes.
For the study authors, up to 215,000 jobs could be lost by 2030 in the German car industry as a result of electrification. The question for Volkswagen is to gain the largest possible market share as soon as possible so as not to lose the huge investment allowed and, on the rebound, minimize the destruction of employment.