Here’s the situation and the question:
In 2010, Germany produced more than 5.5 million automobiles; the U.S produced 2.7 million. At the same time, the average auto worker in Germany made $67.14 per hour in salary in benefits; the average one in the U.S. made $33.77 per hour. Yet Germany’s big three car companies—BMW, Daimler (Mercedes-Benz), and Volkswagen—are very profitable.
How can that be?
An article in Forbes looks at a study on the topic. The main conclusion is the difference in the relationship between unions and management. Here it’s adversarial; there it’s collaborative. And when a German company sets up shop in the U.S., it’s still adversarial.