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 Geschichte Bayerns > Economics > Industry I
Industry I

Today, industry is the mainstay of the Bavarian economy. No one sector prevails, although the electrical, automotive, mechanical engineering, chemicals and plastic industries are all especially important. The economy is striking for its large number of medium-sized companies, none of which has more than 500 employees. These contrast with a few very large firms such as Siemens, BMW, MAN, or Wacker Chemicals.

Industrialisation began with the textile industry in Swabia. The mechanical cotton-spinning and weaving factory in Augsburg, founded in 1837, made the Bavarian cotton industry highly competitive. Parallel to this, steam-operated mechanical looms made factory-produced cloth for the first time. Bavaria continues to play an important role in textile production today, and is considered Germany's number one fashion state.

Manufacturing used to play an important role alongside crafts and industry; here, mass-produced goods could be made by hand. Augsburg's calico factories, for instance, employed draughtsmen, colourists, tailors, printers and many others in their production of the calico that was famed throughout Europe.

Heavy industry settled in the Upper Palatinate in the mid-19th century when the Maximilianshütte ironworks successfully re-established the region's traditional iron-ore processing.