Thirty thousand jobs could be lost at Volkswagen if you switch too slowly to the production and distribution of electric vehicles, Herbert Diess, the head of the company allegedly spoke at the September meeting of the supervisory board, Reuters writes in addition to its own sources, citing Handelsblatt’s briefings.
Diess argues that this drastic move is needed because of new entrants to the German market, including Tesla. The U.S. manufacturer, with 12,000 employees, produces 500,000 cars a year, while Volkswagen’s 25,000 in Wolfsburg has a stock of 750,000. A spokesman for the company also acknowledged that the presence of Tesla and other manufacturers was urging the switch to electric cars – but also denied that calculations had been made of how many jobs could be lost in the process.
There is no doubt that we need to address the competitiveness of our Wolfsburg plant in view of the new entrants to the market.
– He told Michael Menske, a Volkswagen spokesman, referring to Tesla and other Chinese manufacturers.
In addition, Tesla is building a new plant in Berlin, which can produce up to 5-10 thousand cars a week at peak performance, which is twice the German average last year.
A Volkswagen spokesman said the allegations of the loss of tens of thousands of jobs were “absurd and unfounded” but he did not want to comment on whether the CEO had actually stated this. A spokesman for the Lower Saxony region directly ruled out the possibility of such redundancies.
An electric car consists of far fewer parts than conventional-powered vehicles, so it doesn’t require as much labor. According to some estimates
with the spread of electromobility by 2025 up to one hundred thousand jobs may also cease in the German automotive industry.
Volkswagen’s factory in Wolfsburg is the largest in the world: the plant, which currently employs a total of 50,000 people, does not currently build electric cars, but according to the manufacturer’s plans, electric sedans can be made there from 2026 onwards.