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Manufacture of motor vehicles

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NACE 2002 - 34 Manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers

In the immediate future, the development of employment in this industry will be affected by two contradicting trends – decrease in demand for cars in European markets on the one hand and expansion of manufacture in new plants in Northern Moravia where several thousand new jobs will gradually be created.  Until recently, the automotive industry, similarly to other industries, tackled the problem of a shortage of labour force. Therefore, a decrease in production at the first stage will help alleviate tensions in the labour market. Long-term forecasts for the car industry envisage a gradual drop in employment that should not be too dramatic. The main reasons for the fall in employment (by 17% in 2008-2020) should include, first of all, growing labour productivity and a graduatl shifting of less demanding assembly activities into countries with cheaper labour. However, employment in the car industry as a share of total employment in the CR should not diminish significantly. The reason is that, in the long term, demand for cars will grow particularly due to rising standards of living in Central and Eastern European countries.

Cars rank among products with a very high pace of product innovation. In the near future we will witness the trend of an increasing proportion of electronic components in the overall price of the vehicle. The development of new components will gradually become so demanding that it will not be feasible, even for the largest concerns, to pursue it on their own. Companies will be increasingly forced to cooperate either with their competitors or as part of their supply chain. At the same time, as customer requirements increase and competition stiffens, they will constantly have to seek ways of maintaining or lowering their costs. This can be achieved by reducing manufacturing costs (particularly labour costs) – i.e. by moving manufacturing operations to countries with cheaper labour, by further automation and/or more efficient business management (process optimisation). 

In terms of human resources, increasing the variability of employees will be among the top priorities for enterprises. A worker in manufacturing will have to be trained so as to be able to do any job within his/her team or operation. It will be necessary to strengthen development teams (mainly) from in-house resources. This requires systematic identification of manufacturing workers who have the potential to work in development (particularly as technologists and constructers), since they will be hard to get in the labour market. A larger emphasis still will be placed on quality management – including continuous management of individual types of operation. Employees with skills in quality assurance will be demanded for an increasing number of jobs. Higher investments in new manufacturing facilities will constitute another means of enhancing competitiveness. In terms of human resources, this innovation will be the responsibility of technologists in charge of the “machine fleet”.  An even closer cooperation between auto manufacturers and suppliers of machinery cannot be ruled out. As with other industries, the growing proportion of electronic processes will cause an even higher demand for IT specialists, experts in microelectronics and, generally, mechatronics – i.e. workers with combined skills in electrical engineering/electronics and mechanics or other mechanical engineering skills.

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