Business English podcast 6: Why the Germans are better than us!

by Lynch A.K.A 'The Regulator' on August 5, 2012

German business ettiquette
NY times comparison of German and American economy
Original podcast frm BBC

Hi, this week’s business English podcast is from our friends in London. The BBC. The program is part of the Global Business Series and it is great for an advanced ESL class. This audio is presented by Peter Day and the subject of the podcast is German manufacturing. The focus is on two companies, Staedler and Faber & Castell, famous for stationary.

These giants of German manufacturing have been rivals for hundreds of years, but did you know that they both come from the same German city. Nuremberg. However, what’s interesting for the future of Western Economies is… how on earth it’s possible – when every company in the west is moving all its manufacturing to China – that the Germans still manufacture in Germany … especially when the price of labor is so high?

The answer is not complicated … both companies have invested heavily in a dual strategy of research and development and reduction of costs. They then combine both of these by creating new processes to make manufacturing much cheaper and more efficient. Also the proximity of the two companies and their fierce rivalry force them to maintain a high level of performance.

Personally, I think the example of Faber and Castell and Staedler is very important for Spain. Spain has lower labor costs than Germany, many talented young people and is a much more pleasant country to live and work in. I leave you, therefore, with one question… Why can’t we create competitive companies like the Germans? Maybe you could debate this question in your business English class.

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