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Christiaan Hetzner

Automotive News Europe Germany Correspondent
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E-Mail: christiaan.hetzner@gmail.com
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Recent authored articles

BMW will boost capacity at i3 factory in Germany

BMW will invest over 300 million euros to increase production at its plant in Leipzig, Germany, the automaker's fifth-largest, laying the foundation for production of future models. BMW builds the i3 and i8 models in Leipzig.

VW Group's new CEO Diess may have too much power

Former BMW executive Herbert Diess now heads both VW Group and its core VW brand, which may be concentrating too much authority in a single manager.

BMW envisions its iNext as an SUV

BMW looks likely to follow Audi's e-tron and Mercedes's EQC with its own battery-powered full-size SUV, the heart of the premium EV market.

VW takes Touareg upscale with high-tech features

VW has packed its new Touareg with the latest high-tech equipment available, including thermal imaging, a head-up display projected directly onto the windshield, and a fully digital cockpit with two large screens, making the...

VW CFO shares view on listing truck unit

VW Group is determined to turn VW Truck & Bus into a global champion, the company's finance chief, Frank Witter, explained in an interview with Automotive News Europe.

Russia ties stall Wolf's entry on to Porsche board

U.S. economic sanctions imposed on Russia will postpone former Magna International boss Siegfried Wolf from joining Porsche SE's supervisory board.

Talks for Mini's China output are 'going well,' BMW CEO says

BMW's talks with Great Wall over building electric Minis in China are "going well," BMW CEO Harald Krueger said. But it could be autumn before a decision is reached, Krueger said.

Audi aims to double China sales, boosted by second JV

Audi hopes a second joint venture and new SUVs will help it to remain China's top luxury brand, fighting off strong challenges from BMW and Mercedes.

Porsche wants Chinese buyers to love the 911

China may be Porsche's biggest market but sales of its 911 sports car are poor. In a country where size not horsepower counts, Porsche is trying to make the Chinese love the iconic model.

VW CEO Diess supports alliance to build battery cells for EVs in Europe

VW Group CEO Herbert Diess backed a European industry alliance for battery cell production amid fears that the region will lose out to Asian rivals as EV sales take off and technology advances.

VW's Seat brand returns to China via backdoor

VW's Seat brand played a leading role in the development of the E20X electric crossover marketed in China under a new brand called Sol.

VW will get 'clear moral compass,' new CEO promises shareholders

UPDATED: May 3 12:31 CET - new story

VW will expand its internal whistleblower system to give the automaker a clear moral compass, its new CEO, Herbert Diess, said.

VW brand counts on SUVs, connectivity to keep China lead

VW brand is launching a strategic plan for China focused on SUVs, full online connectivity and low-emission vehicles to defend its lead in the lucrative market.

Daimler has plan in case new Chinese shareholder turns hostile

Daimler has a back-up plan in place to protect itself from any unsolicited takeover bid should its new Chinese investor, Li Shufu, turn unexpectedly hostile.

VW hopes marketing overhaul will banish diesel stain

VW will support the launch of its I.D.

BMW's iX3 concept heralds electric expansion

BMW previewed the expansion of full-electric cars into its core product lineup with the iX3 concept at the Beijing auto show.

Mercedes seeks to keep China luxury lead with stretched A class

Mercedes aims to widen the brand's appeal to Chinese buyers with a long-wheelbase version of its latest A class.

Mercedes-Maybach is betting on a hybrid SUV-sedan look

Mercedes is betting on a hybrid SUV-sedan look to attract wealthy Chinese buyers to its Maybach ultraluxury brand.

Mercedes previewing Maybach SUV

Mercedes will preview a potential SUV rival to the Bentley Bentayga and upcoming Rolls-Royce Cullinan with the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury concept at the Beijing auto show this week.

Mercedes will preview Maybach SUV aimed at China's billionaires

Mercedes looks ready enter the ultraluxury SUV segment and join rivals Bentley and Rolls-Royce in targeting wealthy buyers who are choosing high-riding crossovers instead of sedans.

VW CEO's sights set squarely on U.S.

Elevated to the top job at Volkswagen Group last week, Herbert Diess has a reputation for delivering on his restructuring targets — and high on his to-do list is ending the string of losses in the United States.

Key takeaways from VW's wild week

Audi loses, Porsche wins and why VW Group parted ways with Matthias Mueller were among the key takeaways from the conclusion of a wild week in Wolfsburg.

Key takeaways from VW's wild week

Audi loses, Porsche wins and why VW parted ways with Matthias Mueller were among the key takeaways from the conclusion of a wild week in Wolfsburg.

VW names its top U.S. engineer to head new division

VW Group has picked Matthias Erb to lead a newly created interdisciplinary division that spans development, design and sales topics.

Daimler to discuss China cooperation with Geely's Li

UPDATED: April 5 11:50 CET - adds comments, details

Daimler is willing to discuss possible cooperation in China with Geely Chairman Li Shufu, who took a 9.7 percent share in the German automaker in February, CEO Zetsche said.

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