These may be lean times for many in the industry, but some skills are in short supply. A report in German business newspaper Handelsblatt suggests that the German automotive industry needs more highly qualified engineers, especially in the field of electronics and emerging green technologies.

BWM executive Harald Krueger said that the competition for better employees was particularly strong in the fields of mechatronics and electrical engineering.

The report added that Daimler tries to get access to young talents by offering training to university graduates. This programme has continued during the crisis, a Daimler spokeswoman told Handelsblatt.

The association of German engineers (VDI) estimates that the labour market for engineers is almost empty with only 3,000 professionals seeking employment and 11,000 vacancies. Ten years ago there were 15,000 unemployed engineers.

VDI added that the 9,000 graduates per year are not enough to fill the gap.