Technology always wins and the fake news of jobs lost with the arrival of the electric car has just been denied by the latest report by Motus-E and the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice on the employment implications of the transformation of the auto sector: 7,000 people in Italy will find a job in this sector by 2030. “The Italian car manufacturing fabric is at a crossroads – explains the research – after three decades of contraction, it can relaunch itself with the new electric opportunities or proceed towards further industrial and employment downsizing”.
The research by CAMI (the Center for Automotive and Mobility Innovation of the Department of Management of the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice), entitled “The transformations of the Italian automotive ecosystem” is proposed here in its entirety.
The research (PDF)
It all stems from a research on over 2,400 Italian suppliers of components at national and international level, with 280,000 employees. And if it is true that the final increase in jobs – estimated at 15,000 more employees – is subject to the foresight of industrial policy for the immediate future, the 7,000 new jobs only in the infrastructure and energy segment at the service of eMobility they are certain. The evidence is the result of an analysis based on a methodology capable of cataloging, for the first time, all the activities associated with the production of electric vehicles. Thanks to an unprecedented degree of detail, it was possible to sound out the product portfolio of the individual companies in the Italian automotive ecosystem, defining for each one an indicator that measures the technical correlations with battery-powered vehicles.
“To broaden the scope of examination to the new realities linked to electrification – explained the researchers – we have put under the lens the 19 macro modules characteristic of Italian car production, to which 127 elementary components refer. Basically, all the individual parts that make up a vehicle, from the valves to the seat fabric. Starting from such a precise picture, it was therefore possible to estimate the employment effects of the electrical transformation through dedicated models for each type of company or product, identifying the real growth potential of the national automotive industry. At the same time, however, the analysis also highlighted the urgency of active policies for the formation and reconversion of the sector, without which, in the light of global megatrends, the Italian supply chain would inevitably end up continuing to shrink”.
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“We cannot remain indifferent to these numbers, it is clear that to relaunch the Italian car industry we need to focus immediately on expanding technologies, wasting time would mean further weakening the sector and handing over our leadership in the components sector to other countries” , warns Massimo Nordio, president of Motus-E. “This supply chain is strategic and fundamental for Italy, we can no longer afford to neglect it, putting thousands of jobs at risk, after those we have already lost between 1998 and 2018”. “Italian components are appreciated and fitted to cars manufactured all over the world, it is clear that the future is the electric car and therefore we need to be quick to reposition ourselves”, underlines Nordio, “in addition to the benefits for the environment, it is time to also understand the economic and social aspects linked to energy transformation. Talent and experience are certainly not lacking in Italian companies, but pragmatic industrial policy guidelines are now needed to relaunch the sector and make it future-proof. Companies cannot be left alone in such a delicate moment”. “Rather than playing rearguard”, concludes the president of Motus-E, “Italy must present itself as the spearhead to launch a new European plan for the automotive sector, as attractive as the Inflation Reduction Act of the United States, in capable of attracting tens of billions of dollars of investments for electric mobility overseas in just a few months”.
“The Italian automotive supply chain has the potential to remain a leading player in the industry. This provided that investments in new skills and the repositioning action are rapid, targeted and supported by appropriate policy actions”, underlines Francesco Zirpoli, Scientific Director of CAMI, “our research shows that the conditions exist for the technological innovation brings benefits not only of an environmental nature, but also of an economic and social nature”.
And it is precisely in this groove that the enabling factor of the Permanent Observatory fits in. “The Observatory on the transformations of the Italian automotive ecosystem”, explains Zirpoli, “was created to produce scientific evidence on the state of the art and on the evolution of the skills of companies and workers. The results of the observatory will be at the service of research, the economic system and policy makers. The observatory will be based in Ca’ Foscari in the Department of Management and will make use of the CAMI network, made up of scholars and researchers from universities and the CNR-IRCrES”.