Speaking as an outsider and looking a Germany from an economic perspective, I have always been impressed with Germany's productivity and the quality of work that they produce. Most of Europe is weak when compared to the US in terms of GDP per hours worked. Yet the quality of production coming out of Germany is excellent. And yet I can't say that about most other European nations.
One quick example is my home heating system. I upgraded to a high efficiency gas boiler a few years ago. I went with a Buderus, which is a German company. And the reputation for German engineering is well deserved. It's an excellent and reliable system needing very little service.
Unlike many places in Europe, the work ethic in Germany seems to be outstanding, and the quality is excellent. There seems to be something in German DNA that makes them a cut above the rest of Europe when it comes to designing and producing quality products.