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Siemens Woos Car-Loving U.S. with Trams

The German engineering giant tempts U.S. drivers with a rail vehicle designed to withstand collisions with cars

For engineer Oliver Hauck, manufacturing rail vehicles is more than ordinary industrial production. In fact Hauck proudly calls it a "real craft."

Hauck knows what he's talking about. He runs German engineering giant Siemens' streetcar manufacturing plant in Sacramento. But when the German company showed up in the California capital more than two years ago with its plans to build trams there, it found little evidence of craft or even skill. Hauck couldn't find a single welder with the right skills for the job anywhere in the region.