As German automakers BMW and Porsche anticipate record sales for this year, one of the challenges seen is the scarcity of the engineers to produce the vehicles.
The VDI German engineering association said that there was a shortfall of available engineers in Germany of as many as 77,000 last month due to a workforce that’s aging as well as the drop in the number of enrollees in technical studies. For BMW’s factory in Leipzig, about 800 people are expected to be hired.
These are part of a plan valued at 400 million-euro ($577 million) to expand the production of the i3 electric city car and the i8 hybrid super car, says Autonews. For Porsche’s plant situation just 17 km away, over 1,000 people will be recruited.
Porsche is planning to add the new Cajun compact sport-utility vehicle to its assembly line. In an interview, Leipzig Mayor Burkhard Jung said that the companies began to have difficulty in finding skilled staff about a couple of years ago but now, it has become a real issue.
As a result of this scarcity, the BMW, Porsche, Volkswagen and Daimler may lose their competitiveness as they implement their expansion plans and as they continue to work on the development of electric vehicles.
About a third of the big companies in Germany consider this scarcity of skilled staff as risky to the business, according to a survey conducted on Aug. 15 by the DIHK chamber of industry and commerce on over 500 companies. Willi Fuchs, director of the VDI association, said that this issue may delay their research and development.