Christiaan Hetzner

Automotive News Europe Germany Correspondent
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Recent authored articles

Automakers can overcome industry disruptors, Seat president says

Tech companies may have an advantage as innovators in the battle for leadership of the future market for mobility but only automakers have the industrial scale to make new developments a reality for the masses, Seat...

BMW exec says brands need to take more risks

Automakers must be prepared to take more risks to reach digital natives and not shy away from edgy subject matter, BMW marketing executive Hildegard Wortmann said.

Lynk & CO boss says 'brutal' simplicity is key to brand's future

Lynk & CO's boss believes the key for the upstart brand's future success is to be “brutally simple.

Bosch aims for a top spot in EVs

Bosch wants to use its muscle as the world’s biggest supplier to become the world biggest electromobility supplier.

Even in Europe, Smart struggles for sales

Its volumes remain roughly half those of BMW’s small-car brand Mini.

Bracing for diesel bans in Europe

European automakers have put their money on diesels to meet regulations there. Thanks to fahrverbote, they could be in trouble.

Diesel bans put added pressure on automakers seeking to cut CO2

Driving bans loom in Europe as governments crack down on NOx emissions from diesels, leaving brands such as VW, BMW, Mercedes and Volvo at risk because they have bet heavily on the powertrain to meet tougher CO2 emissions...

BMW sees China 10 years ahead of Europe in digitalization

BMW's China boss says consumers in the country are a decade ahead of their European peers in terms of important megatrends such as digitalization and connectivity.

China EV quotas will be tough for premium brands, BMW exec says

BMW may need to rapidly ramp up production of electrified models in China to meet a tougher target for new-energy vehicles as the government clamps down on combustion engines.

How Bosch aims to be No. 1 in electromobility

Bosch plans to leverage its dominant market position in combustion engine technology to become the leading supplier of zero-emissions solutions for electric vehicle manufacturers.

Opel moves Insignia upscale

Opel hopes a wide selection of advanced safety equipment in its new Insignia will move the model upmarket and lure buyers from premium brands.

BMW sees China easing JV rules soon

BMW is poised to take advantage of any loosening in China's restrictions on foreign ownership in its automotive sector.

Porsche SE says raids possible in emissions probe.

Porsche SE cannot rule out the possibility that investigators acting on behalf of German public prosecutors may raid its premises in connection with Volkswagen Group's diesel emissions scandal.

BMW wins license to export from China

BMW has been granted a license by Chinese authorities to export vehicles built by its local joint venture, BMW Brilliance, opening up the possibility of China-built BMWs being sold to customers in Europe or the U.S.

Piech isolated at family gathering

Ferdinand Piech attended Porsche SE's annual meeting for the first time since he fell out with the rest of the Porsche-Piech clan. It might have been his last appearance at the event.

Piech isolated at family gathering

Ferdinand Piech made what may be the last appearance at his family's holding company that controls a majority stake in VW Group.

German industry welcomes self-driving vehicles law

Germany's auto industry praised its government as the first worldwide to broadly legalize self-driving cars, while cautioning that this was just an initial, but crucial, step in rolling out the technology on roads across the...

Skoda gets key VW Group project following Audi-topping results

Skoda has been rewarded by parent VW Group with the high-profile assignment of developing of a budget car for emerging markets after the Czech unit delivered profit margins that topped those of luxury sister brand Audi.

VW plans performance version of Up minicar

Volkswagen brand plans to bolster the attractiveness of its Up minicar with a new GTi performance version while at the same time planning to update the electric version with a more powerful battery to boost its range.

VW fears costly hit if it publishes findings of emissions-rigging probe

Volkswagen Group rejected investor calls for it to publish the results of an external investigation into its diesel-emissions scandal, saying it would risk 'massive fines' if it did so.

How VW plans to achieve job cuts in Germany

VW hopes to finalize plans this year to reduce its German workforce by a net 14,000 workers by the end of the decade without using costly severance packages, as the brand seeks to save 3 billion euros in domestic labor costs...

VW sees China, scale as key to halting Tesla's advance

VW brand is confident that it can become the global No.

Mercedes revamps production to keep pace with record demand

Mercedes regained the global premium sales crown last year by outselling BMW, partly because its factories are all running at full capacity.

Why VW brand's plunging revenue is good news

One aspect of VW Group's first-quarter report is the plunge in revenue at its core brand.

BMW picks German plant for iNext production

BMW said it will begin production of its iNext flagship electric car in 2021 at its factory in Dingolfing, southern Germany. The iNext will be BMW's first vehicle capable of Level 3 autonomy.