News Bites

CEO Oliver Blume said Porsche, which launches its first electric vehicle in 2019, greatly respects Tesla but does not see the US carmaker as a role model.

Transportation Minister Andreas Scheuer isn’t ruling out a nationwide diesel ban, saying the new government will start serious talks with automakers. (BILD)

A Hamburg court ruled a Volkswagen dealership must replace a customer’s diesel car with a new one, saying the software update provided wasn’t enough. (Reuters)

Porsche expects to keep sales stable this year after reaching €23.5 billion in revenue on deliveries of 246,375 cars in 2017. CFO Lutz Meschke said he’s also expecting a renewed 15% return.

Audi currently does not expect further charges in relation to Dieselgate, the emissions scandal that hit the carmaker and its parent, VW Group, in 2015.

Sixt’s US business turned a substantial profit last year, the first time since entering the market in 2011. Global revenue grew 8% to €2.6 billion and net profit rose almost a third to €204 million.

Car rental company Sixt will launch a platform that combines car-sharing, vehicle rental and taxi services, pitting it against Uber, BMW and Mercedes-maker Daimler.

Audi expects 2018 to be a challenging year due to the introduction of more than 20 new models, including its first mass-market electric vehicle, the e-tron.

Stefan Piëch, a VW shareholder and great-grandson of Beetle designer Ferdinand Porsche, has met Chancellor Angela Merkel several times since 2010 to talk about family-owned companies. (WirtschaftsWoche)

New passenger car sales in Europe grew 3.6% in February to 1.16 million vehicles. Top seller VW expanded its market share to 24.1% from 23.1% a year ago, while Fiat Chrysler and BMW’s market shares dropped.

Racing cars

Germany’s long, slow and carefully considered attack on Tesla

They have been trailing the US e-car pioneer for years but now VW, Mercedes-Benz and BMW are pumping billions into mass producing their own electric cars. Tesla's German competition will get really serious this year.

Dieselgate lottery

Big bucks for VW drivers in US, not even a software update for Germans

Volkswagen is giving its US customers speedy refunds, compensation and refits in the wake of its emissions scam — luxury treatment that diesel drivers in Germany can only dream of.

Bye-Bye Diesel

Volkswagen forges ahead on e-cars, committing billions to batteries

The world’s biggest carmaker seeks to put diesel and the emissions scandal behind it with ambitious targets for electric vehicles.

judgement day

In German courts, the tide is turning against VW

Dieselgate rages on as car owners sue Volkswagen and judges up and down the country condemn the former industrial icon.

Masked villain

The real target of Trump’s tariffs? German carmakers

The official word is steel and aluminum tariffs will strengthen US producers. But after Trump's Pennsylvania speech, Handelsblatt’s Washington correspondent thinks German wheels were the target all along.

Veering Off

Mercedes-Benz boss faces crash test

Once celebrated like a pop star, Dieter Zetsche is about to start sputtering, as an ambitious Chinese investor rides shotgun and traffic cops in the US and Germany investigate Dieselgate.

Big Plans

BMW eager to race ahead of rivals Mercedes, Tesla

2017 was the best year in BMW's history, boosted by US tax reforms and an auto boom in China. But that's not enough: The German automaker wants to catch up with rivals.

Think local

German carmakers to Trump: Bring on the import duties

The US president has threatened European automakers such as VW, BMW and Daimler with a levy. He’s forgetting that the Germans have huge plants in the US.

VW group

Skoda gears up for India expansion and e-vehicle push

Skoda, the Czech arm of Volkswagen, wants to conquer the booming Indian car market. In an exclusive interview, CEO Bernhard Maier revealed his investment plans in electric cars and automation.

Parting ways

Sources: VW preparing listing of truck subsidiary

An IPO of the unit, which includes Scania and MAN trucks, could come in early 2019.

surprise partner

Geely and Daimler: A dangerous liaison

The Chinese investment in the maker of Mercedes-Benz cars could be the beginning of a doomed marriage where Geely has the upper hand. Anyone who doles out €7 billion isn't just there to “cooperate.”

Wasted Chances

Daimler exec slams India’s Modi for foiling growth

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's planned tarrif increases will hobble carmakers’ production in the country, says Daimler's regional manager.

Power drain

Unlike Tesla, Bosch pulls the plug on battery production

The world’s largest maker of car parts is dropping out of the race to produce electric car batteries. It’s a blow to German automaking and to Europe’s hopes of rivaling Asia and the US.

who knew?

Former VW boss was informed earlier of diesel emissions cheating

Two documents show that Martin Winterkorn, chief executive of Volkswagen in 2015, was informed about Dieselgate sooner than he has admitted.

Deadly fumes

German court says cities can ban diesel vehicles

A landmark ruling in Germany sounds the death knell for diesel vehicles in Europe with heavy losses for owners and carmakers.

diesel ban

German traffic policy needs congestion charges, tolls

The technology is available and systems are being tested in cities around the world — but car-crazy Germany risks getting left behind in the Adenauer age of traffic.

Geely's empire

Mercedes-Benz maker fears new, active Chinese investor

Daimler is worried about its new major shareholder, Chinese billionaire Li Shufu, a modern-day Henry Ford. Executives fear the investor could meddle with management or steal strategic info.

Riding relief

Despite Dieselgate, another record year for VW

The world’s largest carmaker easily reached a new all-time high in earnings and annual revenue and earnings – even as emission scandals keep making headlines.

Daimler Dieselgate

Getting closer to the truth about Daimler’s diesels

A German court has ruled that an independent expert must determine the pollution levels emitted by a Mercedes SUV that runs on diesel. The move could spell an unprecedented turn in the ongoing court cases involving German automakers.

Less Britain

BMW plans to build electric Minis in China

The German carmaker aims to enter a joint venture with Great Wall Motor to produce e-Minis in China in addition to its Oxford plant amid Brexit uncertainty.

Family Affair

Porsche to VW Group: No diesel engines for now, please

A sign VW’s Dieselgate is far from over: Subsidiary Porsche has suspended sales of diesel models at the same time its supplier, VW unit Audi, is under investigation.

German engineering

Daimler can’t wait to buy a Tesla truck and take it apart

Following a PR nightmare over a damaged Tesla car, the maker of Mercedes-Benz vehicles is now eager to buy and test two of Tesla’s electric rigs as soon as they hit the market.


Class-action suit looms over VW in Austria

Volkswagen could face a wave of legal complaints in Austria over its emissions cheating scandal.

Pooling resources

Bosch buys Uber rival SPLT

The world’s largest car parts maker is gearing up its mobility services, buying US ride-sharing service Splitting Fares, or SPLT. Bosch will directly compete against Uber and Daimler.

Scared Silly

Costly diesel refits loom for automakers in Germany

VW, Mercedes-Benz and BMW face mounting pressure to upgrade older diesel cars and cut air pollution. An upcoming court decision on driving bans may force them to act.

Tesla Model 3

Luxury car segment

Tesla Model S outsells Mercedes S Class and BMW 7 Series in Europe

The US e-car pioneer is beating German carmakers at home. Hoping to catch up, German manufacturers have literally dissected Tesla models.

Electric SUVs

Audi CEO says he still has VW’s support despite widening scandal

Audi chief Rupert Stadler fends off questions about diesel scandals and says his company is producing record sales.

up in smoke

Why a German diesel ban is just a pipe dream

Carmakers and some citizens fear an upcoming court decision on banning diesel cars from German cities. Despite the panic, a nationwide blockade wouldn’t be enforceable.

The noose tightens

Daimler faces growing risk of VW-style Dieselgate disaster in US

After Volkswagen, new reports suggest that Daimler, too, may have known its emissions testing practices were illegal. It could cost the carmaker billions.


BMW diesels within legal limits, agency says

After the carmaker was accused of cheating on emissions tests, a government agency says it could find no defeat device.

worker survey

VW employees not impressed by management reforms

Two-thirds of VW's 120,000 workers find their bosses "unpersuasive" on the need for change.

All aboard

German Greyhound rival prepares launch in California

Five-year-old Flixbus, a bus company backed by US investor Silverlake and Mercedes-Benz, is venturing into the US within the next few months, after successfully expanding in Europe.

E-car shock

Europe’s plan to create its own Gigafactory might backfire

US and Asian battery cell makers are vying for European subsidies meant to foster domestic champions. It is bad news for local startups TerraE and Northvolt.

Officials investigate

Mystery of Audi’s duplicate VINs deepens

Authorities are trying to figure out why the carmaker allegedly shipped thousands of vehicles to Asia all with the same identification number.

Head to head

How Tesla shapes up against Germany’s luxury cars

The brash US producer of all-electric cars has sent shockwaves through the German car industry. The Europeans are now rapidly trying to catch up - but are the two really so far apart?

Why own a car?

Car rental Sixt wants to become the uber-Uber

The European giant is considering bundling various mobility services after breaking up with BMW’s DriveNow. The Hertz rival would combine rental, ride-hailing and car-sharing, a board member told Handelsblatt.


Chinese deal highlights mobility’s next big thing

The deal between China's biggest ride-hailing service and 12 carmakers sets the stage for the next generation of cars: all-electric driverless cars that are shared rather than owned.


Prosecutors raid Audi offices

German officials believe Audi manipulated 210,000 vehicles sold in Europe and the US to cheat exhaust level tests. The investigation has now taken on a new dimension.

€1 billion Loss

GM dodges a bullet as former Opel unit racks up huge losses

France's PSA faces a huge task of turning around Opel and Vauxhall, especially after guaranteeing jobs in Germany.

Netflix Documentary

VW: Don’t compare monkey tests to Hitler

Volkswagen is demanding Dieselgate trials be delayed because of “inflammatory” comparisons drawn between controversial animal testing scandal and the Nazis’ use of gas chambers. The lawyer who drew the comparison isn’t backing down.

Too tempting

Sources: China’s Geely buys shares in Mercedes-maker Daimler

The world’s largest luxury carmaker is getting a new, potentially strategic shareholder: Chinese peer Geely is building up a stake. It could be part of a bigger plan to turn the Asian firm into a global car giant.

Dirty Business

Volkswagen lawyers approved diesel monkey tests

The carmaker's legal department had detailed knowledge of animal testing in 2013, internal emails show. VW’s US monitor is said to be taking a close interest.

dirty but clean

BMW and the emissions-tinkering loophole

Believe it or not, German law allows car makers to manipulate exhaust emissions under certain conditions. Carmakers have exploited this, but a legal case against BMW may soon make it harder.

SUV Boom

Daimler counts the cost of electric vehicles

The maker of Mercedes-Benz luxury vehicles had its best year ever, but warned that profits would be flat this year because of huge investment demands.

Toxic Fallout

Diesel monkey tests trigger purges at VW, Daimler, BMW

German carmakers suspend top executives after news of emissions testing on animals prompts outrage.

Guinea pigs

Did German carmakers really test emissions on humans?

We know all about the monkeys, but much less about a VW, Daimler and BMW-sponsored experiment in which human volunteers were exposed to a major exhaust pollutant. Was there a cover-up?

breathe easy?

VW exec haunted by claim on diesel’s air-cleaning abilities

A 2013 statement by Volkswagen's current director of R&D that diesel cars can clean air comes at a bad time for the carmaker.

Fuming Fallout

Germans investigate auto supplier Bosch in wider Chrysler emissions probe

German prosecutors are investigating two employees of parts maker Robert Bosch on suspicion of aiding fraud. It relates to a wider examination of Chrysler's diesel emissions in the United States.


EU, not Berlin, to protect Germany from diesel exhaust

A visit by environment minister Hendricks to Brussels won't halt EU action to halt high levels of diesel exhaust in German cities.

Monkey Trials

Small-town American lawyer takes on VW

Michael Melkersen has become a celebrity after his revelation that Volkswagen tested diesel fumes on laboratory apes.

Bad air days

Bosch had nothing to do with diesel-inhaling monkeys, CEO says

The latest chapter in the diesel scandal involves biased scientific research commissioned by the carmakers. The head of Bosch, the world’s largest car-parts supplier, says his company was gone long before the simian guinea pigs arrived.

Dead End

German carmakers cornered after toxic gas tested on humans

If scientific experiments elicit references to Germany’s Nazi past, you’ve already lost. The revelation of emissions studies with primates and people will quicken the death of diesel cars.

Water Power

The Tesla of the boating world

Bavarian firm Torqeedo is hoping to become the Tesla of the waters, pushing electric boat motors. But first it has to overcome scepticism about environmentally-friendly power in a sector wedded to diesel.

e-auto batteries

Designated Driver

The EU’s charge to create its own Tesla Gigafactory

Most electric car batteries come from Asia, but the EU Commission wants to jump-start a domestic market. A battery alliance is charging ahead with local production plans.

Auto1 Stake

Using Uber to help sell used cars in US

Softbank, the giant Japanese technology company, hopes to make a German used-car platform a global business.

Electrical failure?

Electric cars pose blackout threat to German cities

The power grid isn’t prepared for the approaching electric car boom. German utilities and researchers are sounding the alarm – and so are experts in other countries.

Asset Hive-off

Continental, mulling a split-up, could ease Schaeffler’s modernization

A break-up of tiremaker and auto industry supplier Continental could free up cash to speed Schaeffler, a key shareholder, into the era of e-mobility.

New drive

Uber CEO pledges ‘total reset’ in Germany

The head of the ride-sharing platform, Dara Khosrowshahi, said the company was working with German authorities and planned a fresh start here.

A4 remodel

Audi revamps as sales stumble

On the heels of a new diesel scandal, Audi management wants to turn the page by bringing new models and fresh designs to market.