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

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.


Saudi finance minister reassures public on taxes

Updated 10 December 2019

Saudi finance minister reassures public on taxes

  • Mohammed Al-Jadaan: There will be no more fees and taxes until after the financial, economic and social impacts have been considered carefully
  • The government expects to generate about SR203 billion in taxes this year – more than 20.5 percent higher than the previous year

RIYADH: Saudi finance minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan pledged that there would be no more taxes or fees introduced in the Kingdom until the social and economic impact of such a move had been fully reviewed.

He was speaking at the 2020 Budget Meeting Sessions, organized by the Ministry of Finance and held in Riyadh on Tuesday, where a number of ministers and senior officials gathered following the publication of the budget on Monday evening.

“There will be no more fees and taxes until after the financial, economic and social impacts have been considered carefully, especially in terms of economic competitiveness,” said Al-Jadaan.

The government expects to generate about SR203 billion in taxes this year – more than 20.5 percent higher than the previous year and more than 10 percent higher than the expected budget for this year. 

Most of that increase has come from taxes on goods and services which rose substantially as a result of the improvement in economic activity over the year.

The reassurances from the minister come as the Saudi budget deficit is estimated to widen to about SR187 billion, next year, or about 6.4 percent of GDP.