The auto industry is an important facet of the American economy, however, that doesn’t mean it’s immune to changes in technology and other threats that could drastically impact the way the business functions. Here is a look at a few of the major threats being faced by the auto industry.
Self-driving cars are a new trend that is already transforming the auto industry. There are currently 1400 self-driving cars in the US and that number is increasing every year. It will still take decades to eclipse the traditional auto market entirely, however, it’s something that is looming on the horizon. These autonomous vehicles will present their own mechanical issues and will still require skilled professionals to assemble and service them. However, autoworkers must study the mechanics of self-driving cars now to stay ahead of the curb.
Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft are also disrupting the auto industry in important ways. Fewer people are buying cars, especially in urban areas when they can easily get from point to point be without having to worry about gas or parking. However, like self-driving cars, ride-sharing won’t necessarily hurt the auto industry, it will merely change the way it operates. Driver’s will still need new vehicles frequently if they are driving around for several hours out of the day and auto manufactures will likely start creating new supercharged vehicles with ride-sharing in mind. Plus, a study by McKinsey found that 67% of people still prefer driving their own vehicle — which means that there is still a robust market for private vehicles.
Automation is already disrupting the manufacturing sector and will likely transform major industries like automobiles. The use of robots and artificial intelligence will likely replace many manual labor jobs that were once performed by humans. However, there will still be a need for skilled mechanics to make complex repairs and engineers to design the vehicles. Like every advancement in technology, automation will improve certain sectors of the industry while making other sectors obsolete. Autoworkers who want to keep up the times should stay abreast of these important trends.
Health Risks of Employees
Another major threat the auto industry is facing is the health risks it poses to employees. Auto mechanics and other workers in the business often deal with heavy machinery and risk the threat of burns and exposure to dangerous materials such as asbestos. Although rarely used today, asbestos was a material that was used heavily in the auto industry before the 1970s. Auto manufacturers are vulnerable to lawsuits from former workers who have suffered adverse health risks due to asbestos exposure. Asbestos can cause permanent lung damage and a rare form of cancer called mesothelioma. If you are an autoworker who has been exposed to this deadly mineral, the Mesothelioma Cancer Network has resources available that you can use to get more information.