Today we had our first company site visit: Faurecia. Although the actual site visit was very technical, the business aspects were very fascinating. Specifically, the intense competition involved in this level of the supply chain was the most interesting part. For one exhaust system, European regulator rules force two competitors to work on the system together, one does cold side other hot side. This is an interesting way to force companies to work together, but it also poses risks of letting your intellectual property get stolen on a joint venture. Seeing a pre-production Mercedes being tested in an acoustic room was an amazing sight to see as well.
Walking around and seeing everyone hard at work yet still having a good time talking to coworkers was nice to see as well. The smiles and laughter during very labor intensive work showed true passion for what people do, which could be construed as a byproduct of the German education system where everyone specializes from an early age, or maybe it’s just the company culture. Either way, it was good.
The second half of the day started with my group going to Henry’s Café for lunch where I had the best flatbread/meal I have ever had in my entire life. (I have tried to not reference food too much in these past posts, but my meals today were out of this world). After we met up with the rest of the group we basically went on a church crawl learning about Luther and religion. It was informative, but at one point our tour guide split up our class into Christians and non-Christians which was absolutely ridiculous. I understand that she was just trying to get an American perspective on how we perceive and deal with religion, but she did not go about it the right way AT ALL.
At the end of the day we ate at this authentic Bavarian restaurant where I have a delicious wiener schnitzel and an apple strudel for dessert which was a very close second to being one of the best meals I have ever had.
Overall today was one of the first all-encompassing days where we learned about the automotive industry and history. I look forward to more days like this one!