Germany - Industry

Manufacturing in Germany holds a declining share of the total GDP and jobs, but it remains the backbone of the economy and is highly competitive internationally. German scientific and engineering achievements fueled its phenomenal industrial growth during the 19th and 20th centuries as the country became the birthplace of television, modern airplanes, and the automobile. The creation of the gasoline motor by Gottlieb Daimler was complimented by Rudolf Diesel's invention of the engine bearing his name. From 1901 to 1930 Germans received a total of 26 Nobel prizes in physics, chemistry, and medicine. Large companies, based on the German ingenuity of the past centuries, account for just fewer than 40 percent of the industry's total revenue, while small and medium-sized companies form the vast majority of firms in the industrial sector, supplying the larger companies with parts and supplies. Many of the large German firms are known throughout the world and have branches or research facilities overseas, including the car makers, Daimler Chrysler, Volkswagen, and BMW; the chemical corporations, Hoechst, Bayer, and BASF; the energy giants, VEBA and RWE; and the machinery and equipment manufacturers, Mannesmann, Siemens, and Bosch. The ownership structure in manufacturing is predominantly private, although the federal and especially the state governments hold equity in a range of companies. The federal government has pursued privatization plans since the early 1980s.

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