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Those crafty Germans!

It is refreshing to see that someone in the world is smart enough to employ a highly skilled group of people who have been largely disregarded (read “laid off through age discrimination“) by many others, from Silicon Valley eastward. BMW who, according to the CNET author, makes “cars for the highly self-aware,” 😉 just opened a plant in which all employees are age 50 or greater!

CNET’s Chris Matyszczyk says:

“Somehow, we get lured into believing that all technological progress is created by young, slightly impersonal people in gray t-shirts who will put on a white one (with a collar) only for the president of the United States.”

According to Chris, BMW is conscious that there aren’t so many of this latter group with the skills to work in a car plant. (Maybe there are not so many of this latter group with the skills to do OTHER jobs in which they are currently employed, either. :-) But in the U.S., companies would rather OFFSHORE the jobs, instead…! Hmmmm… I wonder whether President Obama discussed THAT topic with any of the highly self-aware Bay Area business executives in his recent meeting.) So BMW built a factory in Dingolfing, Bavaria, that has reported earned the nickname “Altstadt” or “Old Town” with a plan to attract those who have previously been laid off or who have retired, to an environment where their valuable skills can be put to use.

BMW has given all of the workers at the plant ergonomic seating to protect their backs, as well as mobile tool trolleys to bring the tools to the workers, rather than forcing the workers to go to the tools. BMW also included little exercise pulleys for stretching and has made the production line one-third slower.

If I were one of the “highly self-aware,” I would order a BMW from Dingolfing in preference to other plants. Craftsmanship and experience go a long way!

-Bill at

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