Many years ago, cars took hundreds of thousands of people to build. Ford’s River Rouge plan had over 100,000 employees.
Then two things happened. First, sub assembly meant that jobs moved to suppliers and then the big move to automation started to eliminate jobs across the process.
Today a car takes less than half the employees to build compared to in 1990. This is even though they are more complex machines and have to be built to smaller tolerances.
Looks like this is now about to happen to the electronics industry. Massive factories in China have been built on the back of the mobile phone business. They are about to get a lot smaller.
Rise of the robots: 60,000 workers culled from just one factory as China’s struggling electronics hub turns to artificial intelligence