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Working World in Transition

Car manufacturers must develop new personnel strategies

Every second employee of German car manufacturers will be affected by automation or outsourcing in the medium term. The companies need to act now to keep the workforce fit for the future, according to an analysis by Oliver Wyman.

17 Aug. 2018
HMI-ID08-011ds _Kompetenzwandel-in-der-Automobilindustrie
Car manufacturers must develop new personnel strategies (Photo: Oliver Wyman-Analyse)

Within ten years, 30% fewer employees will be needed to reach today’s production volume, write Oliver Wyman consultants . Whether this decline can be compensated for by growth depends on the company’s success. On the one hand, employees are required who constantly acquire new knowledge (keyword: “lifelong learning”); on the other hand, carmakers will have to hire more workers with the corresponding digital know-how in order to be able to keep up with the competition.

The study goes on to say that the individual corporate departments are affected by the transition to varying degrees. Therefore, there will be major changes in the areas of research and development, aftersales, financial services, support, sales and marketing. Fewer employees would have to realign themselves in the production area, even if the term Industry 4.0 indicates otherwise. The reason is that the “workers on the production line” have had to confront automation for some time now, which was not yet the case for other functions. The automakers are under pressure to introduce agile recruiting strategies and to develop concepts for the employees of the future – including executives.

Another complicating factor is that the automotive industry will probably have to battle harder for applicants in the future. A recent survey by the market research institute Trendence has shown that the public service sector has surpassed the industry as a student employer of choice .