Switch to e-cars will cost Germany 75,000 jobs, study claims

Above, a charging station for electric cars in front of the headquarters German energy company Innogy. The pivot toward cleaner engines posed a “major challenge” to Germany’s biggest industry. (AFP)
Updated 05 June 2018
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Switch to e-cars will cost Germany 75,000 jobs, study claims

FRANKFURT: The growing use of electrified vehicles is expected to cost Germany’s crucial car sector some 75,000 jobs by 2030, a study found Tuesday, with smaller auto parts suppliers set to be worst hit.
The IG Metall union, which commissioned the study along with BMW, Volkswagen, Daimler and a string of car parts makers, said the pivot toward cleaner engines posed a “major challenge” to Germany’s biggest industry, which employs more than 800,000 people.
Electric engines are simpler to build and require far fewer parts than petrol- or diesel-fueled cars.
According to the study, carried out by the Fraunhofer Institute, the shift will eliminate 100,000 of the 210,000 jobs in drivetrain manufacturing by 2030, while around 25,000 new roles will be created linked to batteries and other specific requirements for electric cars.
The figures were calculated on the assumption that by then, 25 percent of all cars on Germany’s roads will be fully electric, while another 15 percent will be hybrids, which combine an electric motor with a traditional internal combustion engine.
Today, these cars account for less than two percent of the market.
IG Metall chief Joerg Hofmann said the government and company bosses needed to take urgent action to prepare the industry for the upheaval, including through retraining schemes.
But he also warned that not everyone would survive the electric revolution.
“There will be suppliers who won’t be able to adapt their business model, especially among small- and medium-sized companies,” Hofmann told reporters in Frankfurt.
Whereas it takes some 4,000 workers to assemble a million gasoline-powered engines per year, just 1,840 are needed to build the same number of electric motors, the study said.
Volkswagen’s staff representative Bernd Osterloh told reporters that the car giant would respond to the changes by phasing out jobs through retirement schemes and “using the opportunities presented by the transformation.”
Despite being home to some of the world’s biggest and best-known carmakers, Germany’s auto industry was slow to focus its attention on the greener, smarter vehicles of the future — allowing newcomers like Tesla to take the lead.
But German firms have stepped up their efforts in the wake of Volkswagen’s 2015 “dieselgate” emissions cheating scandal, which badly damaged the reputation of diesel cars and spurred a push toward more environmentally friendly engines.


US-Saudi business council reports $13bn in contracts

Updated 24 May 2019
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US-Saudi business council reports $13bn in contracts

  • Improved oil prices, combined with a government focus on spending, contributed to the rise, the council said

LONDON: The value of joint Saudi-US contracts rose to $13 billion in the first quarter of 2019, according to a business council report.

That marked the highest value of awarded contracts since the first quarter of 2015, the US-Saudi Arabian Business Council said.

The value of contracts awarded during the first quarter amounted to about half of the total value in all of last year, it added.

The contracts “included many vital projects, notably in the oil, gas, water and transport sectors,” Abdallah Jum’ah, the co-chair of the council, was reported as saying by Asharq Al-Awsat.

Energy was the top sector, with $3.1 billion of the value of contracts awarded, with many struck by Saudi Aramco. 

Improved oil prices, combined with a government focus on spending, contributed to the rise, the council said.

The construction sector also looks set for a recovery after many projects were put on hold due to the oil-price crash.

“If the pace of awarding construction contracts witnessed during the first quarter of 2019 continues for the rest of the year, the index of awarding construction contracts may return to the range we witnessed before the canceling and postponing of mega projects due to lower oil revenue,” the council said.