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Ukrainians work at 75% of car factories in Europe — research

World automotive market

Today, 75% of car factories in Poland hire workers from Ukraine, and 78% expect a decrease in the number of jobs due to automation of production. This follows from the latest report of the company Exact Systems "MotoBarometr 2023".

How many Ukrainians work in the automotive industry in Europe?

According to the results of the survey, in which almost 1,000 representatives of the automotive industry from 11 countries took part, 75% of them employ citizens of Ukraine. In 2021, it was 58%, in 2022 — already 72%. Although the trend has been growing for several years, the result is gradually stabilizingreports the Polish Institute for Car Market Research SAMAR.

In 8 out of 11 surveyed countries, the percentage of companies employing Ukrainians has increased over the past year. In Germany, 41% of manufacturing enterprises already employ citizens of Ukraine, while in 2021 only 15% (in 2022 — 30% ). Interest in Ukrainian workers is also growing in Belgium — from 18 percent in 2022 to 43 percent in 2023.

In Poland , 23% of automotive companies plan to increase the number of jobs in the coming months. This is 27 percentage points less than a year ago, and the lowest since the beginning of the study. The majority of respondents plan to keep their employment at the current level ( 73% ). At the same time , three out of four plants in the Polish automobile industry employ Ukrainian citizens (3 percentage points more than in 2022).

Much more Ukrainians work in the automotive industry only in Slovakia (88%), but increasingly they can also be found on production lines in Germany. Over the year, the number of local factories that use the services of Ukrainian citizens has increased from 30% to 41%.

Exact Systems experts also pay attention to the growth of automation of production processes. As many as 78% of representatives of the automotive industry believe that robots and artificial intelligence will lead to a decrease in the number of workers in their establishments. "Every fourth representative of the automotive industry in Poland indicates an increase in employment at his plant. This is the lowest since 2016, when we first conducted the MotoBarometr survey. Therefore, we can expect a slowdown in the industry, lower production volumes," says Jacek Opala, a member of the board of Exact Systems.

Will robots replace people at car factories in the future?

According to the MotoBarometr 2023 report, the vast majority of workers in factories that produce cars and their parts are people who perform repetitive, routine activities. In 9 out of 11 countries surveyed, they agree with the statement that automation will lead to a reduction in the number of workers in their facilities. This group also includes Poland, where 78% answered "definitely yes" or "rather yes".

Artur Migon from the Antal company points out that automation and technological innovations are indeed changing the world of automotive production, but in many cases it is difficult to replace humans with robots or artificial intelligence. AI is becoming indispensable in many sectors where humans used to dominate. Now it is moving at a fast pace to replace people in working with algorithms. In the US, a robot replaces an average of 5-6 workers. Automation will have the biggest impact on routine jobs, which could deepen social problems. However, artificial intelligence will not replace humans in creativity, empathy and skill. Positions built on these skills are possible in the future. The key to survival in the digital revolution is retraining, recalibration of professions and revival of cooperation between humans and artificial intelligence," says the expert.

Research methodology

The study "MotoBarometr 2023. Sentiment in the automotive industry in Europe" was conducted by Exact Systems based on surveys of automotive industry firms. Among them were car manufacturers, suppliers of spare parts and components. The sample consisted of 972 respondents from 11 countries (Poland, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Spain, Germany, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Turkey, Hungary). The interviewees were representatives of automobile plants, including quality engineers, plant directors, quality and production managers.

Exact Systems has been operating since 2004 and specializes in quality control, i.e. selection, repair and sorting of parts, components and finished products for representatives of the automotive industry in Poland. It is one of the largest companies in this field in Europe. The companyʼs main customers are suppliers for the automotive industry and car manufacturers. The companyʼs clients are also factories engaged in serial production in the field of electronics, household appliances and cosmetics. Now the company has representative offices in 13 countries: in Poland, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Slovakia, Turkey, Romania, Hungary, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal and China.

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