“Made in Germany” for 125 Years
Enlarge image Testing quality at a table linen company (© picture-alliance/ dpa) Exactly 125 years ago, on August 23, 1887, the British Parliament passed the Merchandise Marks Act. Intended to identify objects of foreign manufacture, the law sought to protect domestic products by placing a sticker on them that would clearly mark their overseas origin, and therefore an assumed inferiority. Thus the label “Made in Germany” was born.
The plan, however, had the exact opposite effect: Rather than besmirching them, the label benefited German goods. “Made in Germany” became a sign for quality, dependability and innovation the world over.
And the goods had nothing to thank other than their manufacturers, like machinists in Chemnitz, whose continuous hard work assures that, 125 years later, a “Made in Germany” sticker is ever an enhancement.
“We are proud of our companies, our workers and of the so-called 'German middle class.' They are the ones who assure that our economy is particularly efficient and internationally competitive,” said Philipp Rösler, Germany's minister for economics and technology. “Products from Germany rightly enjoy a high regard worldwide,” he commented.
Germany is an economy whose strongest link has long been exports. In a report released today by Germany's Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), the country's exports again showed their strength, rising 2.5 percent this quarter compared to the first three months of 2012. In June, according to Destatis, Germany exported 94.6 billion euros of goods.
Enlarge image Constructing wind turbines (© picture-alliance/ dpa/dpaweb) Many of the products that Germany sends out upon the world's markets have become synonymous with quality, like its cars and its machines, while others remain a bit more obscure. If ever there is a doubt, however, there is also a seal of quality to inform a potential buyer.
In the end, it is always the customer's decision. Just as British consumers began to favor certain German products after 1887, now easier to identify on account of their seal, consumers the world over still choose goods based upon quality – and very often, a “Made in Germany” seal facilitates those decisions.
“Growth and competitiveness,” said Minister Rösler, “cannot be stipulated by law – they have to be achieved again and again.”