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The Paradox of Resurgent German Industry

Common wisdom says the future belongs to the service industry, but manufacturing is currently the engine of growth in Munich and beyond

These days Michael Walter, 43, often finds himself committing what would normally be considered sacrilege in the business world: He's turning customers away before they can even place an order with him.

"I simply have to tell them that I won't be able to help them until later, says Walter, the CEO of Gutehoffnungshütte Radsatz in the western German city of Oberhausen, a company specializing in the production of wheels and axles for rail vehicles.