Toyota CEO Warns Full Transition to Electric Vehicles Could Leave Millions of Japanese Workers Out of Jobs

The Japanese automotive industry could see 5.5 million jobs lost.

Automotive
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Toyota‘s CEO Akio Toyoda is concerned that the radical transition to electric vehicles for the company will cost millions of Japanese workers to lose their jobs in automotive.

Toyoda’s qualm with the Japanese government’s pursuit towards carbon neutrality is that it could negatively impact the company’s manufacturing industry. He explains that since Japan is a heavily “export-reliant country…carbon neutrality is tantamount to an issue of employment for Japan.” While the CEO understands that politicians are seeing a full shift to EVs as a major component of this goal, Toyoda said, “To protect the jobs and lives of Japanese people, I think it is necessary to bring our future in line with our efforts so far.”

Auto News reported that Japan produces approximately 10 million vehicles each year, with around 50% of them exported to other countries. Toyoda makes the argument that by 2030, forecasts predict Japan will be producing eight million vehicles per year with combustion engines (including PHEVs and hybrids), and that by completely taking them out of the market, it would cripple the job market in the industry. He continues, “This means that production of more than eight million units would be lost, and the automotive industry could risk losing the majority of 5.5 million jobs. If they say internal combustion engines are the enemy, we would not be able to produce almost any vehicles.”

Toyoda still strongly believes in maintaining hybrid vehicles in the market. He doubles down on the idea that reducing carbon dioxide emissions must require a strategy that focuses on “practical and sustainable initiatives that are in line with different situations in various countries and regions.”

In other automotive news, U.S. safety officials have called on Tesla to fix its “basic safety issues” before expanding its full self-driving mode.

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