Daimler should make more EV parts 'to protect jobs'
DAIMLER should avert possible job losses resulting from the expected substitution of conventional cars by electronic vehicles in coming years by making components for electric engines, the carmaker's top labour representative said.
German carmakers are investing heavily in electric vehicles (EVs), spurred by advances in battery technology and amid a growing backlash against the impact of diesel fumes.
The maker of Mercedes-Benz luxury cars plans to launch at least six, and possibly as many as nine, electric car models as part of its push to compete with Tesla and Audi.
Electric engines require fewer workers to build than those needed for more complex combustion motors, and to counteract the reduction in labour, Daimler should produce more EV parts itself, works council chief Michael Brecht said in an interview with Reuters.
"The number of staff you need to build a combustion engine is roughly 10-fold compared to the number of staff for an electric engine," added Mr Brecht, who is a vice-chairman of Daimler's supervisory board. The firm is the world's leading premium car maker, employing 284,000 people.
He said Daimler's works council had agreed with top management to examine the possible effects of electric mobility on employment.
The site that would be hardest hit by the shift to electronic cars would be Untertuerkheim in Stuttgart, where 19,000 are hired to make engines, transmissions and axles.