I spent the past couple of days in Washington, D.C. in advance of German Chancellor Merkel’s visit to the United States. One of the fascinating conversations I had centered on the fact that many medium-sized German companies (the German “Mittelstand”) expanded into the U.S. and into Asia decades ago whereas most medium-sized American companies have not expanded into Europe or Asia at nearly the same rate. There is a surprising asymmetry.
Reasons given often include the fact that the U.S. is already such a large market, that there are language barriers, and that it may not be cost-effective to set up operations overseas.
Well, these same barriers (how many people speak German outside Europe after all?) clearly have not stopped German entrepreneurs from seizing on these opportunities and “Made in Germany” has become a symbol for quality engineering and exceptional craftsmanship around the world.
The cost of doing business overseas has been decreasing steadily. “Made in USA” is a strong brand and I firmly believe that many more American companies should take it on the road – or in the air! – to realize their potential.