There has been a stark warning of what could happen to the automotive components industry in Wales as electric vehicles increase around the world.
The global developments of electric vehicles will cut demand for diesel cars in particular and to a lesser extent, petrol cars.
Companies supplying traditional parts for internal combustion engines and related emissions, exhaust systems and powertrains will experience a decline in demand for components.
Electric vehicles require a fraction of components for powertrains and parts manufacturing can take place on a truly enormous scale as they are lighter to transport and could be shipped from a single global centre for worldwide assembly.
Some existing parts makers may be able to diversify into other, more modern components or related technology but only the best will survive the transformation and then find themselves competing for the first time with other companies which may have more experience and a bigger footprint in the new technology.
The impact of the emerging transport technology came this week with the news that Germany’s big parts maker, Continental, expects one-in-seven of its workers to have to change operations with much lower added value.
The shift to electric vehicles will cost jobs at Continental, the supplier’s CEO, Elmar Degenhart, told German weekly Welt am Sonntag, but added that many of those jobs would be offset by new positions related to electro-mobility.
He said it was too soon to say whether the number of jobs that would be lost would be bigger of smaller than the number of new positions created.
“There is enough time to design the process such that the blow is softened and major pain can be avoided,” he said.
Some 30,000 of 218,000 jobs at Continental are dependent on combustion engines, the paper said.
Continental said last month it would increase spending on electric-car components in coming years but expects to avert any major impact on its earnings through additional sales from new r&d projects.
Car-makers are urgently seeking partnerships and acquisitions with technology and mobility companies and last week, Volkswagen Group bought North American parking-payment operator PayByPhone.
The purchase of Vancouver-based PayByPhone, which processed more than $250 million in transactions in 2016, will turn Volkswagen Financial Services into the leader in mobile payments for parking.
Toyota is on track for roughly a 40 percent jump in annual sales of gasoline-electric vehicles in Europe.
Hybrids are set to account for more than half of Toyota’s deliveries for the region by the end of the decade, according to Karl Schlicht, executive vice president of the carmaker’s European division.
Engines from the Toyota Deeside plant include petrol units which are put into hybrid models but currently the Ford Bridgend Engine plant does not make petrol engines for hybrids.