Automation & Jobs

A fascinating and also thought-provoking look to see such automotive manufacturing in action with so few people on the line.

The video is 12 minutes long, but you’ll get the point after 30 seconds as to what you are witnessing.

There is another element to this automation: the knowledge worker jobs behind the scenes that programmed and created the machinery seen. But even those are like most other skilled jobs – often heavily involved at the implementation, then reduces to the point of maintenance and quality assurance required for ensuring the automation runs at optimal efficiency.

This is not an outlier but the norm, as Volkswagen, Toyota, Tesla, Mercedes-Benz all have their own sophisticated machine assembly processes to ensure quality and efficiency.


What does it mean to be “Made in…” when the machinery and processes are universally standardized within a multinational corporation that can operate exactly the same way no matter the factory location?

Setup a factory within any country that implements protectionist tariffs, but that doesn’t translate to many jobs, at least not in the manner most people tend to think. The processes, machinery are all standardized and developed in the corporation’s knowledge bank, wherever that may be in many cases, globally across their network.

As McDonald’s set the example for ruthlessly efficient franchise processes, the same will come to manufacturing. The efficiency we see in manufacturing can either translate into even more powerful, efficient consumer products with more accessible prices or translate into even greater profits for the companies that invest into all this R&D, how we react to new technologies will determine how we shall benefit from them.

Capitalism’s next wave is upon us and how these companies react and understand their consumers (which in turn are voters) will determine the future of not only our markets, but our political systems.

A combination of social media (ability to quickly spread communication) and accountability (via our access to multiple choices) will allow consumers to vote with their wallets (along with the ballots).

#deleteuber example anyone? Consequences have actions and in such a volatile world the speed at which corporations and businesses react to consumers matters.

Boycotting a company for using and improving technology doesn’t make sense as the consumers eventually do benefit and if they don’t improve their processes, there won’t be any progress for them to survive the free market competitive landscape. But their practices and what they do can be held accountable. They can offer the exact same service and value as a competitor, but what they do with their profits and how they give back to their consumers does matter.

There is a reason many of the SuperBowl ads we watched this year were focused more on a message of what the companies stand for vs. their actual product offering. It matters what these companies do and whether one agrees or not about the idea that globalization is good or bad, many of the things we use on a day to day are thanks to globalized knowledge sharing that occurred to create the underlying aspects of the internet and even the products we all tend to use everyday were built by a diverse teams of engineers from across the globe.

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