Volkswagen Human Resources Boss Claims Simplicity Of Electric Cars Will Eliminate 10,000-Plus Jobs



The simplicty of electric cars will lead to the eliminatation of 10,000 or more jobs at Volkswagen Group, according to Karlheinz Blessing, VW’s human resources chief.

Blessing says job loss will be a five-digit number due to the fact that electric motors require far less workers than do combustion engines.

Volkswagen I.D.

Volkswagen I.D.

According to Blessing, VW won’t dismiss workers, but rather will phase them out due to retirement over the next decade or so. These retiring workers, in the engine assembly-production area, won’t be replaced as the shift to electric motors will significantly reduced the number of workers needed in this field.

Volkswagen is exploring another option though.  This option would require the hiring of new workers if approved by management.

What option is this? Currently, VW is considering entry into the battery production segment. If approved, VW would go on a hiring spree to get new workers for the various tasks involved with battery design, testing, production, assembly and so on.

Quoting Blessing:

“If 30 percent of the value creation will be in the battery system in future, it is right to consider whether we will step in and to what extent. We cannot leave that to others.”

Source: Reuters

Categories: Volkswagen


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66 Comments on "Volkswagen Human Resources Boss Claims Simplicity Of Electric Cars Will Eliminate 10,000-Plus Jobs"

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Well, shareholders will rejoice to hear it, right???

Diesel cheating just eliminated 30,000 jobs.

The only reason why you eliminate jobs is because there are cheaper alternatives. What this guy is actually saying is that EV will cost less to produce.

The people who lose their jobs will be retired and/or found other jobs anyway (which would have to be better jobs than they already had), so this is great news on all accounts.

> The people who lose their jobs will be retired and/or found other jobs anyway (which would have to be better jobs than they already had)

What makes you think that?

(Not saying you’re wrong or right, just curious to hear your logic)

He’s only referring to the word choice. 1. They either are retiring, or 2. They found other jobs.

People usually don’t leave one job for a worse one.

People leave jobs that pay a lot worse if they get thrown off the bus.

Or they never move up the job chain above minimum wage due to there being no higher paying jobs out there.

Granted the State of Washington started figuring things out with the low wage economy being hear to stay and pasted a $13.50 minimum wage with paid sick leave.

Tesla is adding 10,000 at the GigaFactory so they can move and work thete.

Tesla is adding 10,000 at the GigaFactory so they can move and work there.

Tesla can get workers cheap from the Reno Amazon “fulfillment” center.

From above, “VW won’t dismiss workers, but rather will phase them out due to retirement over the next decade or so.”

But it also means that they won’t hire new people for these positions in the future, which means that some relatively easy to learn jobs will be lost again. In general, workers have to qualify more and more to even get any decent paid job anymore. This is not confined to the automobile sector, though.

I’m kind of enraged at the crap they want a resume now always. Such as they want four years office experience for a job that only pays two dollars more a a hour above minimum wage.

We are being charged MORE for these EVs. Now perhaps the auto manufacturer is getting less of that money but SOMEONE is getting that increased money! It may be parts suppliers (battery makers, electronic component makers, etc.); it may be raw material makers (lithium mines, cobalt mines, etc.); or it may be someone else.

But SOMEONE is getting that money and they are creating jobs.

I assume this means that the jobs will be at the battery supplier, or lithium mine instead. As long as it’s more expensive, there’s a job behind it.

German Unions.

Notice how no other auto manufacturer is talking about reducing their workforce due to EVS.

I think VW is just using EV as an excuse to reduce it’s workforce as they have billions to pay out in penalties for their dirty diesel, and now more billions as we find out about their dirty combustion engine deceptions.

Workers needed to build the new battery packs, should balance out with workers needed to build combustion engines.

I dont beleive that is true at all EVs are that much easier to produce as they are vastly less complex and haveing digital dashes and digital centeral console controls also leeds to the simplification of the auto…
I previously read that ICE machines have about 30,000 parts and EVs only have around 20,000 parts and that simplification will also pit engineers and parts manufactures out of business…

But, there is a savings in no pollution compliance needed.

The bad news for auto workers is that he might be grosly under estimating the job losses as the article about the German post office making there own electric delivery trucks stated that they required 1/10th the labor of an ICE machine and also that they would not give a price on cost but stated you would not beleive how cheap they are to make…

VW could care less about the environment, or doing anything for its customers access to significantly cheaper fuel. They want welfare, so they can pollute. It’s no different than it has been.

And VW is different from every other legacy auto maker how??

The auto alliance made up of praticaly every automaker that sells cars on the US are alredy asking Trump to get rid of all further fuel economy regulations and future sagety regulations…
That is how much legacy auto cares about you there customers and the enviorment…

Outside of China Tesla and Nissan are probably the only automakers that care about greenhouse gasses…

Your blind to their insertion into American politics. Why? Did you “Choose the right driver”, like they asked? That’s what separates them. No other company defrauded on pollution as heavy as VW, and then had the stones to drive a fleet of fraud-mobiles to the capitol, for a pic. All because they wanted similar taxpayer support. Remember?

This isn’t level, Yogurt. Toyota did HSD, GM Voltec. You’re wrong. They cared about GHGs when they cared about regulation, and honestly paid for solutions. They even developed them! I don’t sing for Ford, either, but among those with incredible resources VW stands alone in both its disregard for the environment and efforts to cheat their way out.

With Trump, people have to take more seriously how they should act with their dollars. His Administration will not be on the beat. You can count (celebrate?) on it.

Bull. VWs diesels since 2009 are the cleanest on the roads. And all the manufacturers cheated, as the Emissions Analytics real world pollution data has shown. T&E has reported extensively on the issue, not to defend VW but to attack European regulators who have completely failed to enforce the rules and catered to their own auto companies, particularly in the type approval process. Nonetheless it is extremely clear from the analysis that everyone cheated and that VWs cars were about average under Euro 5 but the least polluting by far after Euro6. (VWs Euro6 diesels emit on average merely twice the legal amount of NOx, Fiat Chrysler a whopping fifteen times. Bear in mind that the Euro 6 standard is far more forgiving than US rules.)

At this point it’s nothing short of absurd to continue to claim that VW was alone in cheating.

(Scroll down and download the PDF and read the full report.)

Excerpt from that report:

“For Euro 5 vehicles,
the five worst performing companies were (in order of the highest emissions): Renault (including
Dacia); Land Rover, Hyundai, Opel/Vauxhall (including Chevrolet) and Nissan. The best
performing Euro 5 cars were made by (in order of lowest emissions first): Seat, Honda, BMW
(including Mini), Ford and Peugeot. For current Euro 6 cars a different pattern emerges. The
worst performers are: Fiat (including Alfa Romeo + Suzuki (to whom Fiat supply engines);
Renault (including Nissan, Dacia and Infiniti); Opel/Vauxhall; Hyundai; and Mercedes. Somewhat
counter intuitively the company producing the cleanest Euro 6 cars is VW Group with VW cars the
cleanest followed by Seat, Skoda and Audi; BMW (including Mini) and Mazda. However, this
cannot be claimed as evidence of VW Group ‘learning its lesson’; the group brought its Euro 6
cars to market ahead of the Dieselgate scandal being exposed. VW Group’s Dieselgate engines
were mostly of the previous Euro 5 generation.”

Terawatt, In the United States, nobody compares to VW. The rest opted not to sell here, and let VW go about its charade taking Green Car awards off the stage.

If you want “Bull”, keep reading “transportenvironment”, and avoid ICCT and WVU research. If you look away from the U.S. and think of where the rules are weak, that is where VW looks merely “as bad as the rest”.

If you want more bull, let VW explain how nitrogen oxides aren’t pollution, like they did to the author of the following:

Blind not yet…

Celebrate?? I have donated to Greenpeace WWF and the Seria Club among others so not exactly…

For decades Ford Toyota Exon and most others have donated to fake enviormental groups to lobby Washington on there behalf to prop up their own agendas and profits not to push for a cleaner enviorment…

The people who think there is a real difference between the legacy auto companies are only kidding themselves…

So if you think Toyota is great go buy a Mirai fueled off fracked natural gas and cracked coal while they try to push EVs as far off into the future as possible to keep selling ICE cars…

Don’t kid us, Yogurt. Your tirades against the EPA, and marginalizing of VW’s issues speak for themselves.

Please, find where other companies have come out and tried to explain science. Fortune: VW flatly denies, in its written statement to Fortune, that NOx represents any proven health threat. “The scientific data currently known to us does not give a clear picture of the effect of nitrogen oxide in environmental concentrations on people and no completely validated statements can be made about the actual risk potential.”

An aggressive “disregard” separates them, like I said.

My tirade of the EPA is for them failibg to do their job while receiving billions in tax payer money and enviormental regulation is a good thing and I suport it being even stricter…

I also never marginalized VWs politing simply statied that other companies polute as much in the real world and you are simply not separiting the two ideas…

From a morality standpoint companies that use legal loop holes are no better than ones who who are did ilegal cheating…

So please dont try telling me what my viewpoint is…

The trouble is if the Republicans wage a gas guzzler war on the electric cars. And all the old car makers dumped their EV’s.

It would led a colossal void for Tesla to explain into and take over.

I personally think we are at a point in EV’s that is going to turn out a lot differently then the EV1

I agree. We are at a point of no return with EVs. Automakers have to keep up with Tesla, or let Tesla take over the growing global market. With Tesla having over 400k pre-orders to fill with just one model(that consumers want NOW), the EV future is very bright.

I’d bet that robotic assembly will displace more workers than switching from diesel to EV power trains.

Disruption of personally-owned cars by Uber and others will also make less cars needed and therefore less built.

Fewer engineers required to write cheating software to conceal pollution levels.
Also fewer executives, in collusion with said engineers, needed to cover things up.

You forgot all the lawyers who will lose their jobs!

What about to put 10000 people to make batteries?
Smart huh….

I hope he is one of them.

Welcome to the beginnings of the “Post Work” economy. If we don’t figure out how to be fine with 50% or higher non-employment in the next 10 years or so, this will go very badly.

We could always build some pyramids.

I remember reading that the Romans and the Pharaohs did do that to provide jobs for military solders and peasants who need jobs to buy food to feed their families.

That is true. Great numbers of laborers and artisans with nothing to keep them busy. So sort of like busy work to keep huge populations employed at something.

Slave labor didn’t require much in the way of payment!?

Actually they were not slaves, not all, by far.

This was more in line with US spending 800.000.000.000$ On war anually.

I though they built the pyramids to screw with future generations and try and make them figure out how people 3000 years ago could chisel out perfectly rectuangular 100+ ton stones and stack them like legos…

You are confusing consequence with intention, though I can’t say you are wrong. To demonstrate their powers of construction was certainly part of the plan; a kind of Ozymandius thing.

Hyperloops! Hyperloops everywhere!

Cars took jobs from horse cart builders, horse breeders and keepers, bulbs took jobs from candle makers…

The US needs to get on board with building electric motors and computers so we don’t have to farm this stuff out like Chevy and the likes are doing.

Yeah, the Bolt is a good example of how auto manufacturer jobs might get reduced. So much of the Chevy Bolt is built by LG Chem, not Chevy/GM. But does that mean the total number of jobs has been reduced? I kinda doubt it. They just moved to LG Chem instead of GM.

Another big thing really is automation, that is probably the biggest job killer.

Concerning the loss of jobs to automation: I found out a stunning fact a week ago: the number of manufacturing jobs peaked in 1996 …. in China. It’s down by 25% since then. The value of manufactured goods have gone way up as well. There’s other sources of manufacturing efficiency than automation – but I’m assuming automation is a big part of it.

Here’s an interesting article:

That’s a drop in the bucket to the number of service writers, mechanics, parts clerks, drivers, et cetera that EV’s and autonomy will render redundant.

This Guy is trying to Baffle the Masses with “BS” OUTSOURCING is what auto jobs are lost to , & To Mexico …North American that buy Mexican Cars ARE F00LS…Let the Mexicans Buy Their own Garbage, Keep it out of NA…

BMW and Volkswagen have been opening a lot of new factories in low wage companies over the last few years.

That may have been true in the past, but the future will replace the majority of those workers with automated machines. It doesn’t matter if the factories are located in Mexico, China, or the United States if they only require less than 1% of the labor force needed previously. The obsession for profits above all combined with advances in artificial intelligence technology will destroy capitalism as workers are no longer needed and society no longer gets paid to be able to buy anything. Unfortunately this trend cannot be stopped at this point, so it’s literally too late to “bring jobs back” as the human worker aspect becomes no longer needed.

Only a couple of ways out. We’ll wise up and adapt or revert to our old ways and destroy it all.?

Over the last twenty years, of every job the US has lot in manufacturing, one has moved overseas and nine have been lost to increased productivity.

The only way to get these jobs back is to have companies become inefficient. Can’t see that happening. The drive to reduce costs is relentless, is being greatly aided by technology, and shows no signs of abating.

EVs are so much simpler one UK company says one person can assemble there new van in 4 hours…

The worker needs to press the button and wait 4 hours!

As much as I have a major fear of robots taking jobs away.

I really think Tesla is doing a lot to create a lot of new jobs. Such as electric car charging station repairer and solar planner installer are new jobs.

Oh my god, two liberal priorities conflicting!!! whatever are we to do…..


So . . . I assume they are outsourcing the batteries to a parts supplier who’s jobs numbers will go up.

They are charging more for these EVs . . . that money is going somewhere. Whether it is to parts suppliers, raw material miners, or someone else, I don’t know . . . but that larger price is going somewhere.

“If 30 percent of the value creation will be in the battery system in future, it is right to consider whether we will step in and to what extent. We cannot leave that to others.”

This is another way of saying what Sergio correctly pointed much earlier. The car companies have outsourced much of their work for things like wheels, tires, electronics, batteries, seats, window motors, etc.

Two of the biggest pieces that remain for the car makers is the ICE and the transmission. . . and with EVs, BOTH of those things disappear. Thus, it does make sense that auto makers will lose jobs. Yeah, they can make the electric motors but those are much less complex & labor intensive. And the same is probably true for batteries.

Of course EV’s will be way cheaper to produce in volume than an ICE…. Look at how fewer components an EV requires in the drivetrain….

No big deal. Given the size of VW globally, I guess around 100000 employees are going to retire within the next 10 years anyway.

Less job at VW because EV or it have difficult since Diesel saga? Some mistakes from some people may result in some job lost.

On the other hand, they will need more people for IT security and software testing, especially if the vehicles are connected to the internet (entertainment system and access from outside like controlling certain functions of the car). Especially if “old” vehicles[1] should stay safe.


[1] Already didn’t get security updates for a Google phone in warranty time which was bought quite early after release – and some entertainment systems are using Android like R-Link. And I heared that some “Smart TVs” became “Dumb TVs” after 2-3 years due to shutting down servers, no necessery update for the TV etc.

Unless increased demand warrants moving some people to a newly created assembly line.