Another early start for us with a 9am visit to Hirschvogel. Hirschvogel is one of the largest mittelstand companies and are one of the world’s largest metal forging companies with over one billion euros in revenue annually. They are a secondary supplier to the auto industry and work nearly exclusively with steel. We toured the facility and saw a wide range of heavy machinery including a 2500 ton hydraulic press that can flatten steel rods instantly. My favorite part of the visit was the presentation we were given. The amount of insight we were given about the future of the automobile industry was incredible. We were told how Hirschvogel plans to stay ahead of the e-mobility trend and how they see a future where they will thrive even though so many doubt a steel company will be able to compete carbon fiber when it becomes cheaper. Even though I am skeptical of this claim, I wouldn’t be suprised because of the culture there. Despite, the billion euros in revenue, Hirschvogel is still very much a family company. The family owns 62% of the company and they are constantly reivesting into the firm while paying a small dividend. Companies like this should have corporations in the United States scared because everyone at Hirschvogel is working to better their own life through the company, not the company through their work.
Later in the day, we visited Oberammergau, a small town near the Austrian border with a great view of the Alps. We explored the town for about an hour and then headed up mountain by cable car in order to get a better view.
The view from the top of the mountain was amazing and I can say I’ve never seen anything like it. There was a complete 360 degree view of the snow-covered German Alps with the town below us. This was easily my favorite part of the trip so far.