Accelerate the electricity transition so as not to lose tens of thousands of jobs. The alarm was raised by Herbert Diess, the CEO of the Volkswagen Group, who admitted at a supervisory board meeting that the company could cut up to 30,000 jobs if it switches to electric vehicles too slowly. Diess’s request to speed up the electrification process of the range was dictated by the entry of Tesla in Germany, with the inauguration of the new Gigafactory on the outskirts of Berlin.
We recall in fact the company led by Elon Musk plans to produce 500,000 cars a year in Germany, in the facility which will employ up to 12,000 employees. To make a comparison, more than twice as many people work in the German giant’s Wolfsburg plant, 25,000, yet just 200,000 more units leave the assembly lines of that plant every year. Speaking to Reuters, a Volkswagen spokesman confirmed the position of the CEO of the German company according to which Tesla’s landing in Germany also forces Volkswagen itself to accelerate in terms of electrification of production: the same spokesman admitted that Tesla will produce in its new Gigafactory from 5,000 to 10,000 electric per week, more than double Volkswagen’s electric vehicle production rate throughout 2020.
Clearly, the hypothesis of a cut of 30,000 jobs has made the unions turn up their noses, so much so that a spokesman for the Volkswagen works council defined this scenario absurd and unfounded. It is true that the electrification process promises a sort of “massacre” of workers at a global level: according to the latest estimates, by 2025 they could be lost up to 100,000 jobs in the German automotive industry alone. “There is no doubt that we must address the competitiveness of our Wolfsburg plant in view of new market entrants such as Tesla – commented Volkswagen spokesman Michael Manske – The debate is ongoing and there are many good ideas, but there are no concrete scenarios ”.