News Bites

BMW is investing most than €100 million to build a new test track in Sokolov, Czech Republic for electric and autonomous cars. The site allows the company to save money but be close to Germany.

Automaker VW sold almost a million cars in November, 11.1% more than the same time last year.

A German law firm plans to sue truck makers for damages on behalf of over 3,000 logistics firms by the end of 2017, after EU authorities found firms like Volvo and Daimler had violated anti-trust rules.

Sales figures suggest BMW could be China’s top-selling premium automaker for 2017. Audi took the top slot last year.

Auto trader AVAG has taken over eight Mercedes dealerships in Austria from the Wiesenthal Group.

BMW announced plans to build a new proving ground in the Czech Republic for the testing of e-mobility technologies such as electrification, digitalization and automated driving.

Bosch CEO

Don’t write off diesel yet

Volkmar Denner, the head of the world's biggest automotive supplier, Bosch, argues that diesel technology remains crucial – to meet emissions targets and give carmakers the time they need to shift to e-mobility.

Diesel backlash

EU support for German automakers melts away

Berlin and Brussels have long been willing to help postpone the demise of the combustion engine. But now Europe is no longer an ally of Teutonic manufacturers.

SUV recalled

Audi declares an end to the diesel crisis too soon

VW luxury brand Audi winds up its diesel inquiry as the German government finds new cheating.

Frank Witter

VW’s CFO struggles to shake Dieselgate

Volkswagen sales have rebounded since 2015’s costly Dieselgate scandal, but the carmaker can’t seem to escape its shadow. VW will just have to keep its tab open.

climate goals

EU Commissioner explains why carmakers must cut emissions

As Californian and Chinese carmakers zoom ahead with their e-cars – think Tesla – Europe's climate commissioner spells out what auto companies should do to keep up.

Life after GM

Peugeot pressures Opel to save on costs

Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller is hoping that cutting work hours will kickstart his strategic plan to stop the bleeding. Otherwise, the new French owner PSA might cut masses of jobs.

MATTHIAS MÜLLER

VW boss does a U-turn on diesel

The CEO of Volkswagen has become an unlikely voice for phasing out diesel subsidies. He suggested that the money be put toward green driving technologies instead, a proposal that met a mixed response.

Clearing the air

BMW counters Dieselgate accusations

The luxury carmaker defended its “Dieselgate-free” reputation, saying an environmental group that accused it of emissions manipulation had tested a car under unrealistic conditions.

Electric Cars

Daimler engineers demolish rented Tesla

Two German car rental agencies are locked in a bizarre feud after Daimler reportedly rented a Tesla to inspect an American competitor.

ZF Friedrichshafen

A small town in Germany ousts a global CEO

A local mayor who controls the stock in a global car parts manufacturer ends the firm's ambitious expansion.

German interior minister Thomas de Maiziere gets into a car

Homeland Security

Germany wants carmakers to help them spy

Digital experts say a new Interior Ministry plan to force auto manufacturers to help them fight crime puts everyone at more risk.

Dieselgate Fallout

Brussels will check car exhausts

The European Parliament and members states approve a plan to step up emissions testing.

Oliver Schmidt

The noose tightens around VW in Dieselgate scandal

The former head of VW's environmental office in the US gets maximum term for cheating on emissions control test.

self-driving cars, renault concept autonomous car

Autonomous Cars

Audi sees a future where the commuting is easy

In the age of self-driving cars, drivers become passengers. It’s a golden age for auto designers conceiving offices, sleeping pods and luxury suites on wheels.

Road Test

BMW accused of cheating on diesel emissions

A German environmental group blames the luxury carmaker for rigging a diesel engine. BMW, so far unsullied by VW’s Dieselgate scandal, denies the charge.

Uber's Makeover

Ride-hailing app Uber reworks its image in Germany

Uber, dubbed the “taxi killer” across Europe, is keen to improve its bad reputation in Germany, and hopefully launch in more than two cities.

Heavy Load

German truck makers hitch onto electromobility

Commercial vehicle brands are being forced to think much bigger about the industry’s future than their passenger counterparts. Politicians still need to get on board.

Car parts

Future of ZF’s CEO uncertain after failed bid

ZF's boss, who steered the takeover of US rival TRW, may resign after shareholders blocked a plan to buy Belgian-American Wabco. His departure could open the way to a merger with Knorr-Bremse.

Herbert Diess

VW’s marathon man

Herbert Diess, the CEO of the VW brand, took up his role just weeks before the Dieselgate scandal broke. Now he finds himself in the thick of the aftermath, overseeing the firm's long-term plans for cultural change.

VOLKSWAGEN scion

From kids to cars

Stefan Piëch, a great-grandson of the legendary Ferdinand Porsche, could emerge as the next leader of VW’s ruling dynasty. But does a background in children’s TV equip him for the role?

Executive opinion

Autonomous technology and e-mobility aren’t passing German carmakers

The new technologies are disruptive challenges to master, not fear, says BMW CEO Harald Krüger.

Handelsblatt Interview

EU commissioner says diesel is archaic

The car industry needs to step up efforts to sell emission-free cars, rather than "a thing of the past," says Elzbieta Bienkowska.

electric CHALLENGE

Taking on Tesla: BMW’s mission to Mars

BMW is plowing tens of billions into new electric and digital technologies, hoping to fend off Tesla’s threat. But can it keep growing its sales while the transformation takes place?

Driverless cars and VW

“Approve self-driving laws!”

He left Silicon Valley and Apple and moved to Wolfsburg and VW, but his mission is the same: to put driverless cars on roads as soon as possible. A conversation with Johann Jungwirth, Chief Digital Officer of VW.

PICK YOUR PORSCHE

Luxury carmakers take a cue from Netflix

Automakers are testing subscription services so customers can change car models whenever they want. It’s another evolution for an industry preparing for a future in which owning your own car is no longer necessary.

Labor vs. Board

VW’s secret power struggle

VW labor leaders fear management is reducing their power to shape the carmaker’s decisions. If this is true, the balance of power could be shifting in favor of shareholders, especially the Porsche-Piëch families.

COMMERCIAL VEHICLES

Jump-starting VW in Brazil

Volkswagen is unleashing a new generation of city trucks in a bid to revive its Brazilian business and regain market share from Mercedes-maker Daimler. A global rollout will follow in the coming years.

Floor It

Volkswagen’s race with Tesla

Volkswagen, Europe’s largest car manufacturer, is hitting the gas pedal to keep up with Tesla. The company’s supervisory board just approved a major investment for electric cars.

Driverless cars

Talkin’ ’bout a revolution

One of the greatest boons to mankind – autonomous driving – is also an epochal challenge to Made in Germany. That’s why we’re launching Handelsblatt Global - Mobility. It’s your front-row seat to a revolution.

Electric Semi-Trailer

Tesla’s robot truck to battle Mercedes and VW

This week, US e-car giant Tesla unveiled its first electric semi-trailer truck. The distinctively styled rig is likely to strike fear into the hearts of big German truck makers such as VW and Daimler.

Low on Juice

Predicting the electric car crash

Aspiring e-carmakers could hit a nasty roadblock: a limited supply of key battery metals. All contenders will be affected, from Tesla to VW to BYD.

Autonomous Cars

Smart maps to get even smarter for driverless cars

Detailed real-time mapping is key to making driverless cars a reality. Competition is fierce, with Here Technologies, backed by BMW, Audi and Mercedes, facing off against data-hungry Google.

ZF Friedrichshafen

Cruise control on buy?

The world’s third-largest car-parts maker might make another big takeover. ZF is especially interested in strengthening its trucks business, said the chairman, who also announced his resignation.

German Autos

PSA poised to electrify Opel

The French maker of Peugeot and Citroën cars plans to revamp the newly acquired automaker with a line of electric models and open it to global markets.

Union Troubles

Inside the Tesla sweatshop

Tesla presents an image of a clean future, but there are growing complaints about poor conditions and low pay in its American factories.

After Scandal

VW bounces back in the US

Thanks to booming sales of family-sized SUVs, VW is making up for sales lost to the diesel scandal.

Dieselgate Fallout

‘When’ issue prompts deeper probe into VW emissions

A German court rules an independent auditor should investigate when Volkswagen executives learned of the emissions scandal, giving a boost to investors seeking billions of euros in damages.

Industry Influencers

The new face of the auto lobby

The VDA, Germany’s car industry association, might have found a new leader, but the nomination does not come without critique.

Auto Regulations

Helping and punishing

Carmakers will face watered-down EU targets to cut CO2 emissions and incentives to sell alternative fuel-powered cars as Europe fears losing out to US and Chinese rivals.

BMW Earnings

Falling further behind

BMW reported a drop in operating profit and rising costs in the third quarter, underperforming its main rival Mercedes. It hopes to catch up with a major rollout of new models.

Osram-Continental

Joint venture targets smart beams for cars

A former light-bulb maker is teaming up with a diversified tiremaker to supply intelligent lighting to state-of-the-art cars.

Used-car sales

Spiffy deals on wheels

Auto1, one of Germany’s most valuable startups, is using its digital platform to transform Europe's second-hand car market. With turnover of €1.5 billion and 100 percent growth, it’s no fly-by-night.

Autonomous Cars

Passengers wanted

German companies have cornered the market on patents for autonomous driving, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be the first to successfully market a self-driving car.

Supply Chains

The German auto industry’s darkest secrets

German consumers purchasing a new electric car may be buying a few extras they didn’t reckon with - such as child labor, corruption and police brutality.

Auto Tariffs

The Trump-sized risk that won’t go away

VW and Daimler are increasingly concerned that the US government may try to restrict imports of German cars.

Self-driving cars

Part exchange

Like automakers, car-part producers are realizing that partnerships involving the exchange of know-how are going to be vital to helping build autonomous vehicles.

US R&D

Outspend and outsmart the Germans

Amazon and Google’s Alphabet have become the biggest investors in research and development, overtaking VW and Samsung. Tech money dwarfs the cash of Geman carmakers.

Future-Proofing

Accelerating toward sales and spin-offs

The automotive industry is rethinking non-core activities and looking for ways to prepare for the future. Unlike their peers, German car companies are doing it in secret.

E-mobility

A German in Beijing

An ex-BMW staffer is developing what he calls a smartphone on wheels for the Chinese market. And one day he hopes to bring it to Europe.

E-Mobility

Getting around the biggest roadblock

Which comes first: the electric car or the charging station? German e-mobility infrastructure is lacking, and despite best intentions, it may be a long time coming, as one project by Porsche, Daimler, BMW and Ford shows.

daimler benz autonomous car

Autonomous Cars

Feel free to drink and drive

Self-driving vehicles won’t just turn the car industry on its head. They'll also offer Germany's car industries -- and other industries -- opportunities.

Cheap Cars

VW targets emerging markets

Volkswagen and its Skoda unit are looking at producing low-budget models by 2020 for India, China and other emerging markets.

Porsche vs Piëch

Lifestyles of the rich and feuding

A new documentary about Germany’s two biggest car-making dynasties, which run Porsche and VW, has set off another round of Dieselgate gossip and family feuding.

VW Split

The sum of the parts

Volkswagen plays catch up with Fiat and other competitors by combining all the company's parts makers under one roof.

Dieselgate Dollars

VW’s latest announcement sees stock prices plummet

This week, the world's largest automaker announced it would need to set aside billions of euros more to repair cars affected by the Dieselgate scandal.

Car Dealers

Making VW pay for its sins

Angry at the poor treatment they have received from VW, German car dealers consider legal action.

Cultural Revolution

Banishing the dieselgate ghost

Volkswagen’s CEO says the carmaker is set on overhauling its culture. But old habits die hard, and an American outsider could be the real catalyst for change.

Handelsblatt Explains

How VW rose so high and fell so low

Conceived by Hitler in the 1930s, Volkswagen became the symbol of Made in Germany and the world’s largest car maker. Then it crashed into Dieselgate.

smart power

Speeding into a bottleneck

Germany has dragged its feet on electro mobility. Now it may be paying the price. The electricity grid just isn't ready for the shift away from combustion engines.

E-Car Offensive

The uncomfortable truth about electric cars

The German auto industry may finally embrace the electric car. But beyond the hype, serious issues remain before these green vehicles can save the world – or go mainstream.