Today began with a bus ride to SGL Group. SGL Group is known as the carbon company, as it make an array of carbon-based automotive products. Our presenter, who studied at the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh, reasserted my admiration for the openness of the companies we visited. He provided precise and clear answers to the many questions regarded SGL Group’s decision to sell its steel business, the biggest revenue sector of the firm. Following the presentation we were given a guided tour of the carbon facilities and the final production showroom. Displayed in the showroom were carbon fiber car frames, carbon audio machinery, and several other carbon products including packaging material, golf clubs, and bike frames. SGL Group amazed me by demonstrating the immense number of products that derive from carbon.
After a lunch provided by the company, we rode the streetcar back to Augsburg and headed to the University for an introduction presentation with BMW. BMW’s presentation focused on their developmental process to make full-automated vehicles a reality in automotive society. The representative detailed BMW’s steps to achieving their end goal and expect this far-fetched idea to arrive sooner than consumers expect. When I asked the presenter whether he “imagined a future in which automated vehicles manufactured by different automotive companies would be able to communicate with each other through a cloud-based network or one in which each brand’s vehicles operated separately”, he responded by indicating that even though the latter is a possible outcome, BMW is fully focusing its efforts towards one, integrated network.
At the conclusion of the BMW talk, I made my way to Königsplatz and eat dinner at the popular Henry’s Coffee, where I enjoyed a delicious Italian dinner. Based on my first week experience, Italian food is much better in Germany.