The Volkswagen emissions scandal is the biggest to hit the automotive industry for a number of years and could potentially cause repercussions that will have an impact for many more to come. It is still too early to predict exactly what will happen, but suppliers and vehicle designers should already be looking at new strategies and ways to reduce their exposure and the threats to their business.
The biggest problem with the scandal is that it could easily damage consumers’ opinion of diesel in general. Many people purchased diesel-powered vehicles because they believed that they were better for the environment. Finding out that a leading producer responsible for building around 40% of the vehicles in Europe and 3% of the ones in the US misled authorities and consumers is sure to make consumers reconsider their choices.
Designers and suppliers will have to be more transparent with their information in the future and it is also likely that alternative technologies like hybrid and electric will see rising demand. The concerns over diesel could affect the jobs market too. If buyer demands do change, it could see manufacturers look more towards alternative technologies. This would result in a need for a new influx of people with specific skills, potentially creating more motor trade jobs.
If the expected loss of confidence in diesel does occur suppliers will need to reassess their strategies and possibly even make changes to their workforces. Naturally the amount of exposure each supplier has will differ and depend on the percentage of their business that is associated with diesel. Whatever does happen it will be a very tough period for all companies involved in the industry.
At John Gibson Associates we are actively doing all we can to monitor the situation and the impact it has on jobs in the sector. As a leading recruiter we need this information to ensure we are in the right position to meet the recruitment needs of companies in the industry and job seekers looking for careers in it.