Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2002/12/20

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Re: Leica Price increase
From: Tim Smith <>
Date: Fri, 20 Dec 2002 09:22:49 -0800
References: <005b01c2a767$a0722360$94a6fea9@3zlwb>

John Nebel wrote:

>Leica may have a cost problem.
> >From the Economist:
>"...virtually all of Germany's biggest firms are setting up plants abroad
>to make products more cheaply"
>"The hourly cost of labour in manufacturing industry in western Germany,
>including wages, social-security (including health) and pension
>contributions, is 13% more than in America, 43% more than in Britain and
>59% more than in Spain, according to the US Bureau of Labour

The Economist has been on an anti-German tack for awhile now, given the 
apparent socialist aspect of their labor laws, etc.

It's one thing to move, say, a garment industry off-shore, another to move 
an industry with highly skilled workers. What part of Leica's production is 
done in Portugal now? Could you move manufacture of the entire product line 
to China, and keep the status of the product? Seems doubtful.

Nonetheless, German industry is facing a crisis. I wonder how Mercedes 
(sorry, DaimlerChrysler) and BMW will cope when car sales slump next year 
and the year following.

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