This number – 10,000 – floored me. Why so many? But if you think about it making cars correctly takes a lot of people and a lot of resources.
When you transfer that to high tech for cars you would need an ample amount to support the workforce at those GM plants in Detroit.
I recently met a transplanted Canadian who moved his family to the Motor City for an IT opportunity and he disspelled a few myths about the car sector. He said there is opportunity and the city of Detroit is growing but only in the outskirts and he believes it will take another decade for the auto-sector to return to normal.
But, what would GM need with all those IT workers. Well, if you look at what Mercedes-Benz is doing with cloud computing and its cars you get to see a pattern that what will be important to the tomorrow’s car consumer will be mostly on the inside rather than the outside.
The business model shift is what’s really interesting here with GM. GM used to be a company that would outsource for all these in-car gadgets like car-audio and DVD systems. GM now believes that to differentiate against the Mercedes-Benz’ of the world plus Ford and Chrysler you need software systems internally that’s not for resale in other cars.