GM's Layoffs and Digitalization of Auto Industry

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Dec. 6, 2018—The most revealing aspect of GM’s announcement may well be what the layoffs say about broader technology trends, reported Harvard Business Review.

GM's layoffs significantly reflect the talent and workforce strains associated with the diffusion of digital and electronic technologies into nearly every industry, business and workplace in the U.S. Specifically, the advent of consumer electronics, IT, electric and battery powered drivetrains, and—soon — autonomy in the automotive industry are placing excruciating new demands on its workforce, and forcing painful change, according to the report.

Where once the auto-sector workforce was anchored by workers responsible for mechanical and machine-maintenance roles, the need for electrical skills is now growing exponentially due to the increasing electrical and electronic content of the car. Likewise, where mechanical engineers once predominated, the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are increasingly looking for software engineers, energy management experts, and data scientists able to build electric and self-driving vehicles.


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