IBJ Podcast: What Indiana’s auto industry must do to adapt to EVs

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Carmaker Stellantis NV made big news in Indiana last week when it announced it will build a $2.5 billion electric-vehicle battery plant in Kokomo with partner Samsung SDI. The plant—which is expected to employ 1,400 people—is one step in a fledgling transition in the auto industry from vehicles with internal combustion engines to those with electric motors.

But what does that transition mean for a state like Indiana, which has five vehicle assembly plants and more than 500 auto industry suppliers. In all, more than 110,000 people are employed by the auto industry.

Podcast host Mason King talks with Ananth Iyer, a professor of management at Purdue’s Krannert School of Management, who is part of a group studying the potential disruption in the auto industry and how Indiana manufacturers can adapt.

Iyer sees tremendous potential for those plants and their workers, even if that means a bit of retooling and retraining to realize it.

For more about the disruption EVs are causing in the auto industry, read Susan Orr’s story in IBJ’s Innovation Issue here.

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4 thoughts on “IBJ Podcast: What Indiana’s auto industry must do to adapt to EVs

  1. I agree with most of what Mr. Iyer talked about in this podcast. I have friends working in the factories he talked about. None of them have higher education… no offence to them but what value can they add? They don’t drive or understand EV vehicles. These companies will loose legacy workers as we move into EV vehicles and battery production. They will loose employees because they use less moving parts. You can’t tell me people won’t loose there jobs. If I had to guess it’s already happening.

    1. I read several months ago that assembly of an EV only requires
      possibly no more than 2/3 of the workers needed to assemble a
      gasoline vehicle.
      Either way it will be a significant decrease in employment.

    2. Keith, I agree and think workers will have to adapt, educate, or die. Mix in more robotic manufacturing and it’s major decrease in man power. It’s inevitable moving into this generation of vehicles.

  2. “90-95% of trips for PHEV” – yeah too bad most of the manufactures are NOT producing these vehicles! We drive a Chevy Volt and it’s the been the best vehicle purchase we ever made. Getting rough 1200 miles, per tank! GM just canceled production of it. Makes no sense.