Electric vehicle conversion puts more than 70,000 jobs at risk in Italy

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MILAN (Reuters) – The switch to electric vehicles will put about 73,000 jobs at risk in Italy, metal workers unions and a lobbying group said on Thursday, calling on the government to begin negotiations. Discussing measures to support the automotive industry.

Analysts say the auto sector in Italy could be hit harder than elsewhere due to the small average size of domestic companies and the scale of investments required to comply with the climate plan. The European Union’s Fit-For-55″ eliminates the internal combustion engine by way of 2035.

“This plan, without (government) intervention, could lead to the loss of about 73,000 jobs in Italy, with 63,000 in the period 2025-2030,” said employers group Federmeccanica and unions. FIM, FIOM and UILM said in a rare joint statement.

They say vehicle production in Italy has fallen from more than 1.8 million units in 1997 to 700,000 last year, of which fewer than 500,000.

“We need to get back to production about 1.5 million units a year,” said Francesca Re David, head of FIOM.

The auto industry in Italy employs 278,000 direct and indirect workers and accounts for about 6% of the country’s gross domestic product, according to figures from the automobile association ANFIA.

Earlier this week, Industry Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti said he would present proposals in the coming weeks on incentives to support the Italian auto industry.

Unions are also urging the government to reach a final agreement with Stellantis, the largest carmaker in the country, to build a battery factory to power electric vehicle production in Italy.

Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said last year the group would build one of its battery plants in Europe in Termoli, central Italy, but an agreement with Rome has yet to be signed.

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