News Bites

Michael Steiner, the Porsche executive who was the subject of a raid by prosecutors on Wednesday, is being investigated for his handling of the Dieselgate scandal, Handelsblatt has learned. He is not suspected of a role in the actual manipulation of diesel engine software.

VW’s new CEO Herbert Diess should continue pushing for cultural change in the wake of Dieselgate, said Lower Saxony’s premier, Stephan Weil. The state owns a 20% stake in VW.

Francisco Garcia Sanz, VW’s longest-serving board member, will leave without a payout or consultancy deal. He was in charge of procurement but apparently didn’t want to work with Herbert Diess, the new CEO. (Bild)

Michael Steiner, Porsche’s chief of development, is reportedly being investigated by prosecutors seeking information about Dieselgate.

Opel plans to cut the workforce at its Eisenach plant from 1,800 to 1,000. Some 3,700 of Opel’s 19,000 employees in Germany could lose their jobs in a restructuring by French owner PSA. (Tagesspiegel)

BMW boss Harald Krüger will announce China as the production site for the carmaker’s all-electric X3 models at the Beijing Motor Show next week.

Porsche CEO Oliver Blume is not the company board member suspected of diesel emissions fraud. The names of three employees, including a board member, have been given to investigators. (Handelsblatt)

Car parts supplier Continental lowered sales targets for 2018 due to exchange rates and problems in its tire division. It expects a €150 million loss in earnings through June.

VW troubles

Prosecutors raid Porsche offices in Dieselgate probe

Investigators searched Porsche and Audi offices, looking for evidence of emissions manipulation. Three managers are under suspicion, including a Porsche executive.

semi detached

Acquiring US rival Navistar could give VW an edge in global trucking race

Volkswagen's truck business could go public next year – and become a global rival to Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz. Buying Navistar would help.

Chipping in

Intel eyes new markets in tie-up with BMW

Intel is hoping that a new joint research center with BMW will help it tap into the growing autonomous vehicle market, while at the same time allow the two partners to set the industry standard.

Digging it

The hunt for Germany’s buried e-car treasure

A veritable gold rush has broken out in Germany's Ore Mountains, with mining firms searching for the lithium and cobalt needed to feed the surge in electric car production. There's just one problem - someone threw out the treasure map.

Emergency exit

Volkswagen’s surprise CEO swap may trigger more board departures

More VW executives, possibly the CFO, could step down after they were taken by surprise by Herbert Diess’ nomination as the carmaker's new boss, Handelsblatt has learned.

New driver

VW CEO Matthias Müller resigning, Herbert Diess to become new boss

Herbert Diess, once described as “ambitious and power-hungry,” is to become the new CEO of VW, Handelsblatt has learned. Shareholders want to start with a clean slate after Dieselgate.

Another man's treasure

Eastern Europe’s appetite for dirty old diesels

Secondhand diesel cars are worth way less in Germany due to Dieselgate and potential city bans. But the clunkers sell like hotcakes in Romania, Slovakia and Hungary.

Smart move

Bosch powers the chip boost in cars — and iPhones

The world’s largest auto parts supplier is also a major producer of the chips used in cars and smartphones. A new German factory will strengthen Bosch’s position even further.

Legal warning

Driverless technology’s deadly race

Maybe it's time to slow down the rush to put autonomous cars on the road and wait until the technology is proven to be safer than human drivers, argues a public law professor.

P&L Check

For Daimler, too many unanswered questions

Daimler's earnings may be climbing, but its share price has stagnated. Investors are nervous about legal risks, the cost of rolling out electric cars and its new Chinese shareholder.

Sebastian Thrun

Future mobility

German inventor Sebastian Thrun wants to teach cars to fly

The scientist pioneered Google's driverless cars. After Uber's fatal crash, he warns of alarmism and envisions a future of flying cars and artificial intelligence.

Watch for potholes

Unlike GM, Ford sticks to European market

Ford ruled out a departure from Europe, emphasizing it will not follow in GM’s footsteps despite wild swings in profitability. But earnings now stand a good chance of rising, says a senior executive.

Fearing Uber

BMW and Daimler merge car-sharing in challenge to Uber

Germany’s largest luxury carmakers are merging their car and ride-hailing services, including ReachNow and Car2go, in a bit to strengthen their position against Uber, Didi and Lyft.

Smell the money

BMW sued in US, accused of emissions manipulation

Following a raid of BMW's headquarters last week, top US law firm Hagens Berman filed suit against the luxury carmaker. It accuses BMW of rigging diesel cars and masking high levels of pollution.

Car Imports

Germany wants to make Trump a trade offer he can’t refuse

Germany's new economics minister wants to offer concessions to Washington by cutting European car-import tariffs. But the rest of the EU isn’t so sure about the deal.

German dynasty

VW set for change as Porsche’s great-grandsons ascend to power

A younger, tech-savvy generation is coming to power in the Volkswagen empire. It's going to be a big change for the business, with ethics counting as much as earnings.

vw class action lawsuit germany

One for All

German business antsy about prospect of class-action lawsuits

German companies vehemently oppose the new government's plan to allow class-action lawsuits, which would greatly help VW owners fight for Dieselgate compensation.

Dieselgate reloaded

Prosecutors raid VW, seek evidence of market manipulation

VW headquarters were raided this month. Prosecutors think the German carmaker may have misled investors about CO2 emissions and fuel consumption in 2015.

It's complicated

Will Trump’s tariffs really hurt German carmakers?

The German auto industry has got used to Donald Trump making threats against it but with the announcement of steel and aluminum tariffs, things have got serious. Yet there are no signs of panic. That could be telling.

Keeping course

VW presses ahead with self-driving cars, despite Uber crash

Germany’s largest automaker will for now continue its plans to develop driverless cars, regardless of the fatality involving an Uber vehicle in the US.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

Dieselgate

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.