A younger, more female, more professional and more modern Jury & Changes for the Announcement of The Car of the Year 2023

01/09/2022 - Car of The year

The Car of the Year Organization is very happy to announce the following personal changes.

In Germany, we welcome three new members:

Jessica Thön represents a very fresh, digital and modern journalism, presenting videos on Youtube and other social media channels to a huge and mainly very young audience. Jessica is one half of „The Car Crash“, a platform that she has founded with her partner. There she independently and very successfully presents, compares and classifies new products and doing features about car-related topics. With Jessica, the number of female jurors climbs to seven, a new record. She is based in Offenburg in the southwest of Germany.

Stefan Cerchez, 48, is editor-in-chief of bi-weekly „Auto/Strassenverkehr“ by Motor Presse Stuttgart, a magazine available as a classic print as well as a digital issue. Stefan studied politics and automotive business and has an international background. He started his career at Motor Presse in the early 2000s and was promoted editor-in-chief of Auto/Strassenverkehr in 2020. The magazine is especially strong in the eastern part of Germany where it once was the biggest car publication.

Frank Mertens, 56, comes from classic sports reporting and joined motoring journalism in 2006. He quickly gained expertise and his reputation in the car business is undoubted. Today, he is editor-in-chief of print magazine „Electrified“ as well as of online-portal „Autogazette“, so he has a strong knowledge of online publishing, too. Frank’s publications are strong in both products and background. Frank is based in Berlin.

Jury President Frank Janssen, 58, takes the new role of the managing director for the organization. Frank has served the Jury for more than 20 years. Frank loves working internationally, he is deeply rooted in the Jury composed of members from 23 countries and has collected a lot of experience in guiding it that his new role is to bring The Car of the Year even further in the future. Looking for new potential partners is one major task. Until the election of a new President, Frank takes this role interim-wise, without being allowed to vote for the 2023 election.


Michael Specht, 65, left the Jury due to the age barrier of The Car of the Year statutes, as well as Timo Friedmann, 48, who left for personal reasons. We thank them for their commitment.

The nomination of a sixth French member replacing Jean-Michel Normand, 65, from „Le Monde“ will be announced very soon.