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    With the ecological transition, will the automotive industry lose thousands of jobs?

    Aurélien Fleurot
    7:46 a.m., October 14, 2021, modified at

    07:56 am, October 14, 2021

    The fact of now favoring electric diesel engines has a negative impact on employment, as the boss of Volkswagen would have mentioned to his employees. However, there are many opportunities to relocate production, in a sector in full upheaval.


    Will the ecological transition lead to the loss of tens of thousands of jobs in Europe, as a result of electrification in full swing? The figure of 30,000 fewer jobs at Volkswagen was mentioned internally by the boss of the manufacturer, Herbert Diess, according to the German press. The information was quickly denied by a spokesperson for Volkswagen, but everywhere in Europe, the arrival of electric cars will have many impacts on employment.

    Electrification, “a capacity to relocate”?

    At the origin of the “dieselgate” six years ago, Volkswagen is now one of the manufacturers who invest the most in electricity: 73 billion euros by 2025, which will not be without consequences in factories, like in Wolfsburg, for example. The observation is factual: to manufacture a heat engine, five people are needed, against only three for electric.

    A worst-case scenario that will come true in a few years? “We inevitably have staff losses, just on the assembly of the vehicle as such,” says Olivier Lefebvre, FO union representative at Stellantis, who refuses fatalism: “There are new technologies, electric motors , batteries… There will be a bit of hybridization and this is an opportunity to show that we also have skills in France. We see electrification as a capacity to relocate. We know that it will be to have trades. “

    A threat to 100,000 jobs in France

    Trades, therefore, and people to exercise them, on condition “that the employees are employable”, warns Olivier Lefebvre. The subject of training is crucial, as professionals in the automotive sector point out. In France, 100,000 jobs would be threatened by 2035, according to a calculation by the Observatory of metallurgy.

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