In a world of robots, carmakers are hiring more humans

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By Bloomberg, for IndustryWeek

Sep 19, 2018

Car-industry employees concerned that robots will put them out of work needn’t worry -- at least for now.

Of the 13 publicly traded automakers with at least 100,000 workers at the end of their most-recent fiscal year, 11 had more staff compared with year-end 2013, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Combined, they had 3.1 million employees, or 11% more than four years earlier, the data show.

Carmakers in China and other emerging markets, where growth is strongest, favor human labor because it requires less upfront investment, said Steve Man, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence in Hong Kong. In developed markets, tasks that can be handled by robots have already been automated years ago and automakers are now boosting hiring in research and development as the industry evolves.

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