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    Germany's in Trouble?

    This article in TheCarConnection explores the troubles of the German automotive manufacturers, particularly their labor problems. Although Porsche is not mentioned specifically, the overall state of the labor market in Germany is discussed. Mercedes and VW are used as examples. An excerpt:

    Quote:
    Volkswagen asks its union for a two-year pay freeze and a shift to more performance-related pay. VW wants to cut its German labor costs by 30 percent in six years - $2.5 billion by 2011, maybe 30,000 axed workers. The union, called IG Metall, wants a four-percent pay raise and ten-year job guarantees. There are 103,000 unionized VW workers in West German plants. The union even wants investment guarantees for each plant.




    See the article here:

    ---LINK---

    Re: Germany's in Trouble?

    Porsche isn't in trouble (yet), thanks god. But VW has huge problems and especially Opel (GM) right now.
    Around 12000 Opel (GM) jobs are at risk in Europe, almost 10000 of them in Germany. Right now it seems that worker union and GM are talking about possible solutions to avoid mass firing of workers but people don't really expect any solution.

    The problems in Germany are pretty simple: there is no money and the unemployment rate is too high.
    Especially the lower class but also the middle class doesn't have any money left for spending. Taxes are high, fuel prices went up like a rocket (I pay 1,21 Euro for one litre of 98 octane fuel...95 octane US as far as I understand). This means around 5,70 USD for one gallon and you guys in the US think that fuel in the States is expensive.
    And I guess we Europeans are "lucky" that the Euro is that strong, otherwise the prices would be even higher.
    We need massive tax cuts and less unemployment. At the same time, social expenses have to be reduced too massively.
    Unfortunately, I don't see that happen. With the expansion of the EC towards Eastern Europe, the economic situation will become even more severe over the next few years. Unfortunately many people over here don't realize it and don't want any massive changes. Although we have a social democratic/green (leftist) govenment, they started to cut back on social help and other benefits for unemployed people but it seems it is too late. And the opposition doesn't have any solutions too, they just fight between themselves. In my opinion, there is a strong need for lowering taxes. But I don't think it'll happen, the state needs money.

    Re: Germany's in Trouble?

    Yes, lower taxes are probably a good idea, and I know very little about the German economic and political situation. But, I hope you don't find yourself in the same situation we have here in the US. Here, we have been successful in lowering taxes but not spending! Without a corresponding reduction in spending you just delay and compound the pain. Politicians find it pretty easy to either increase spending or cut taxes, nobody much complains about either action. Taking either one the other direction is very painful.

    Re: Germany's in Trouble?

    The two things that are hurting the most will only get worse unfortunately. Rising energy prices and cheap 3rd world labor (mainly india and china). These 2 forces will put extreme pressure on "western" standards of living until a solution is found.
    Dependable alternate energy sources and a leveling of playing field between wages. Neither is likely anytime soon.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4287300/site/newsweek/

    Tom

    Re: Germany's in Trouble?

    Quote:
    racerx said:
    The two things that are hurting the most will only get worse unfortunately. Rising energy prices and cheap 3rd world labor (mainly india and china). These 2 forces will put extreme pressure on "western" standards of living until a solution is found.
    Dependable alternate energy sources and a leveling of playing field between wages. Neither is likely anytime soon.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4287300/site/newsweek/

    Tom



    I don't worry as much about India and China as I worry about the future members of the European Community like Romania, Bulgaria, etc. Look at Hungary: Audi already produces the whole TT line in Hungary, not to speak about many many different engines and a lot more is planned for the future. Even look at Porsche: why is Boxster production in Finland. Why is Cayenne part production (Leipzig is actually more of an "assembly factory" in Bratislava?
    I don't blame Porsche for their clever marketing but this is how things are now. Look at Seat and Opel, a lot of cars are produced in Poland, although Seat plans to return production back to Spain. There are even more examples.

    We have a problem in Germany: we have highly qualified specialists on one side who do a great job and we have highly PAID workers on the other side who do a great job too but a job which could be done as great as they do for less money in other countries.

    I see the following scenario to happen in Germany over the next 20 years: engineering, development, etc. will stay here because of highly educated and trained employees. Production and assembly processes however will be moved to cheaper countries to reduce cost.
    I don't see anything good coming for the next few years but I still hope I'm wrong.
    Another problem is also german mentality: instead of looking at ourselves and trying to improve our work and our skills, we're always looking at the others and how much THEY earn and what THEY do and of course this results in envy and "bad blood" as we say here.

    A friend of mine who is coming from a wealthy family but he doesn't get too much money from his parents, he has to earn it himself, just opened a company for office tools.
    During the opening celebration, another "friend" approached him and asked him pretty blunt: "what do you do with so much money, you already have so much and now you even get more?". And this guy was pretty serious. My friend is driving a 4 years old Audi A4 1.8 and he lives in an appartment with 3 rooms. He really isn't rich.
    So if his own "friends" think that way, you can imagine what strangers think. This is very sad.

    And the worst part: instead of making opening your own business much easier, the german state does everything possible to introduce more and more bureaucracy.

    And as the "gap" between the strong middle class and the rich is getting bigger and bigger, problems arise which didn't exist before.

    And the worst thing: there is no hope of things getting better. The political opposition doesn't offer any alternatives, at least not now. And the current government doesn't want to get involved in massive changes, not only because of the population but also because of their coalition partner, the Greens.

    And last but not least, there is another major problem: the EC stability pact which doesn't allow Germany to make more debts than a certain percentage calculated on a specific formula. Now let me see: the german state can't lower taxes because they can't take more debt and a lot of money would be missing for other things like the health system, social system, state, police, army, etc. And they can't radically cut back on state expenses because this means to reduce a lot of benefits for the population and state workers.
    Of course this is only a very simple explenation of what is happening but you get the point.

    The future will surely be interesting over here but it won't be easy for many people. I just hope me and my wife can survive, I'm very used to my Porsches and I would hate it to have to sell them or not being able to buy one anymore. And of course I want a good life for the kids...

    Well, maybe we should have moved to the US a few years ago as we have planned a long time ago. Now it is too late I guess.

    Re: Germany's in Trouble?

    Quote:
    RC said:

    Well, maybe we should have moved to the US a few years ago as we have planned a long time ago. Now it is too late I guess.



    Never too late. If you can afford a Porsche, I think you can afford to live here very nicely.

    Re: Germany's in Trouble?

    Quote:
    RC said:
    Well, maybe we should have moved to the US a few years ago as we have planned a long time ago. Now it is too late I guess.



    RC, get real, your driving license points would not last a month in the states and I can't picture your riding a Porsche bicicle to work everyday I know this spaniard had a tough time trying not to loose my license during college there

    Re: Germany's in Trouble?

    Quote:
    carlos fromspain said:
    Quote:
    RC said:
    Well, maybe we should have moved to the US a few years ago as we have planned a long time ago. Now it is too late I guess.



    RC, get real, your driving license points would not last a month in the states and I can't picture your riding a Porsche bicicle to work everyday I know this spaniard had a tough time trying not to loose my license during college there



    Fair point re: Germany vs ROW for legal, "risk-free" speeding . Although even in US enough cleverly deployed money (in a fully legal way) has been shown to solve/alleviate some of these pesky speeding issues.....

    Re: Germany's in Trouble?

    Also, RC might not be able to bring his -20mm 997S to the US.

     
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