Market developments

    Permanent workforce in the automotive industry: Downward trend continues

    In December 2020, employment levels were below 800,000 for the first time since December 2015. This represents an increase in the negative trend that began in the second half of 2019.

    In December 2020, employment levels were below 800,000 for the first time since December 2015. This represents an increase in the negative trend that began in the second half of 2019.

    Employment in Germany: 3% fewer in permanent workforce

    In 2020, the number of employees forming the permanent workforce in the automotive industry in Germany fell; on average, 809,000 people were employed at the plants run by manufacturers of motor vehicles and vehicle parts. This represents a decrease of 3%, or 23,800 employees, compared to the previous year. After an eight-year period of growth, with record employment during the boom in 2018, employment had already plateaued in 2019 and began to decline by the second half of that year. This trend was accelerated by the coronavirus crisis in 2020, so that by the end of the year, employment levels were below 800,000 for the first time since December 2015.

    In this respect, all manufacturer groups in the automotive industry recorded a slump, albeit with varying intensity. The largest manufacturer group in terms of employment, motor vehicle and engine manufacturers, or OEMs, had average employment figures of 470,000 (-3%, or -14,000 employees) in 2020. Suppliers maintained the number of their permanent workforces at their plants in Germany just above the 300,000 mark – a decline of 3%, or of 9,500 to 301,000 employees. With just over 38,000 employees, in 2020 the manufacturers of bodies, trailers, and superstructures just reached the level of the previous year (-1%) – in absolute terms, around 300 fewer employees than in 2019.

    Doreen Hüls
    Economic Intelligence

    Doreen Hüls

    Automotive forecasts, international commercial vehicle market, US light vehicle market, research and development

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