Day six was, well, interesting to say the least.
We woke up and took the tram to Faurecia, which is a car supplier that focuses mainly on car exhaust systems and interior design products.
We first had a factory tour, which was decent, but the factories seemed very empty. There were not that many workers throughout the facility, and I was not quite sure what they were working on.
We finished our tour with a company presentation by an employee from the Faurecia HR Department. The presentation was not good, and the company seemed to be falling apart in front of my eyes. To open the presentation, the speaker told us that Faurecia still does not have a standardized way to say their own name. Therefore, when they attend auto shows like CES Las Vegas, customers have difficulty understanding what Faurecia does until they show them their products. To me, that made absolutely no sense. Faurecia also does not brand their interior products even though the rest of their competitors do so. There was absolutely no marketing plan and I was genuinely confused if the company even has a future vision for themselves. There did not seem to be a solidified identity within the company.
For the second half of the presentation, Faurecia brought in a couple of internship and apprenticeship recruiters to try and recruit us to work for them for 12-24 month programs. However, applicants for the first opportunity were required to be European students, and the second program was for European Grad students that were required to pass a German placement exam. The entire group, including the German students, were absolutely lost, and did not know what to do.
I wish I could talk more in depth about the company, but I honestly had a tough time trying to learn anything about the company in the presentation. The information just did not make sense and was not relevant to our group. There definitely was a miscommunication.
One important thing to note is that the tour guide admitted that Faurecia has no plan for the future of electric vehicles. Their primary industry is exhaust systems, and electric vehicles do not need exhaust systems. Without the demand of their industry, Faurecia is at high risk for collapse within the next twenty years.
After Faurecia, we went back to the University of Augsburg, and we had a brief politics lecture from a political science professor at the university. He is a member of the Green party in Germany and gave us a general overview of the party system in Germany and then described the future of German politics. The green party is gaining more momentum in the country, but there is also a rise of a new Neo-Nazi party that is a hot debate with Germany right now. While they are a small portion of the population, their rise is triggered on blaming new asylum seekers from the middle east. I spoke with one of the German students about the debate, and he said it is very scary right now to watch a potential rise in a radical party. There have been lots of protests against the uprising of the party. It is scary to watch a wave of radicalism within the United States and across other European states. I reflected on the chaos that ensued at the Charlottesville riots and could remember how quick-tempered our country was and still is.
After the politics lecture, we met with our presentation groups and planned out how we wanted to work on our presentations. We split up the parts and planned out a couple of future meeting times with our group to run through the presentations for Wednesday. It is a nice change of pace from back home, where we tend to rush through a presentation without a thorough plan. After the politics talk, I had some dinner with the group, and I went back to the hotel to catch up on some work.
Tomorrow is Munich, and I am excited to see what the city is like. I have heard that it is pretty big, so I wonder what the city will be like compared to Augsburg.
I will be back in action tomorrow, live from München!