Christiaan Hetzner

Automotive News Europe Germany Correspondent
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Recent authored articles

VW seeks youth appeal with T-Roc

VW believes the T-Roc's high-tech connectivity features, expressive design and fashionable color options will help it appeal to a young customer group that won't be too concerned by the cheaper interior fittings used in the...

VW reforms compliance system to avoid another scandal

VW has reorganized its compliance system as it seeks to eliminate a culture of silence that contributed to its diesel emissions cheating scandal.

ZF CEO's 'reckless' buying spree led to his departure

The departure of ZF CEO Stefan Sommer shows that politics and entrepreneurism rarely are a good match.

VW Beetle could be reborn as electric car

VW is considering the future of the brand's iconic Beetle. Small, impractical two-doors coupes are losing favor with buyers, so the solution for the next Beetle may be an electric-only model.

PSA outlines plan to de-GM-ify Opel

Said PSA's Carlos Tavares: "We are moving from a world where the center of decision is Detroit to a world where the center of decision is not Paris, it's Ruesselsheim."

Why Opel expects to thrive under PSA ownership

Opel faced a number of restrictions under GM ownership that covered areas such as where it could build and even sell its cars. Now, under PSA control, the money-losing German carmaker believes it will finally thrive.

BMW sticks to X3's winning formula

BMW has stuck to its winning formula for its X3, one of the automaker's highest volume models, giving the latest version of the premium midsize SUV improved handling and agility, along with an updated design and a quieter...

BMW boosts i8's electric range and power with new roadster

BMW is giving its i8 plug-in hybrid sports car more power and a longer electric-only driving range, while also adding a softtop convertible variant.

Mercedes CLS gets even more dynamic design, frugal 48-volt hybrid tech

Mercedes hopes new engines that include a 48-mild hybrid option and an even more dynamic appearance will help its new CLS reclaim leadership in the lucrative niche for luxury coupe-styled four-door sedans.

Samsung expects fourfold boost in auto revenue on self-driving cars

Samsung Electronics believes the auto industry offers growth opportunities because of the shift toward electric, connected and autonomous vehicles.

Tesla shows why VW, Daimler should keep their heavy trucks businesses

Tesla's punt at the heavy truck market shows VW and Daimler that there may be meaningful synergies between trucks and cars as the industry moves toward electrification and autonomy.

Porsche aims to meet EU emissions targets with electrified lineup

Porsche expects it won't have any trouble meeting the EU's next round of CO2 reduction targets because more than half of its sales by 2025 will come from electrified vehicles

Mercedes pickup aims to mimic SUVs' success

Daimler hopes the new Mercedes-Benz X class will be a game-changer for its light commercial vehicles division by entering the booming global segment of midsize pickups.

Opel puts dealer network under scrutiny

Opel plans to change the incentive system used by its European dealers to promote sales of higher-priced vehicles. The plan includes introducing a new top trim line called Ultimate.

Mercedes pickup aims to mimic success of brand's SUVs

Daimler hopes the Mercedes X class will be a game-changer for its light commercial vehicles division, giving the business a more diversified sales footprint by entering the booming global segment of midsize pickups.

Opel's ambitions put China, Russia, even U.S., on radar

Opel's global export push could mean production of its cars in PSA's plants in China, Russia and Iran and even sales in the U.S., home market of former owner GM.

Europe's automakers score a win with new CO2 targets

Outwardly Europe's carmakers are complaining about the EU's proposed fleet emission targets through the next decade. Privately, however, it's a good bet that they are breaking out the champagne.

Piech cuts final ties to VW's holding company

Ferdinand Piech, the driving force behind Volkswagen and Audi for decades, is cutting all ties to the company he considered to be more important than his own family.

Why Mercedes expects big boost from first pickup

Mercedes has added the X-class pickup as it seeks to make its vans division more global and less reliant on Europe.

Opel turnaround plan will seek to end years of losses under GM

Opel's first business plan under its new French owners, PSA, will set out how the German automaker will reach profitability that has eluded the former GM division since 1999.

Porsche CFO outlines how company will thrive in EV era

Porsche believes it can overcome the high costs of electrifying its lineup without reducing its 15 percent profitability target, finance chief Lutz Meschke told Automotive News Europe in an interview.

Audi picks Detroit for A7's show debut

Audi has picked the Detroit auto show in January for the debut of its latest-generation A7.

VW brand's profit margin goal is too easy

VW brand's turnaround plan is not even a year old and yet next month the brand's CEO, Herbert Diess, will likely find himself forced to revise already his targets upwards.

BMW recruits Audi exec to head brand management

BMW has appointed former Audi manager Sven Schuwirth as head of brand's product management and marketing in the hopes of better positioning the carmaker in a new digital age.

BMW's youth-focused X2 arrives in March

UPDATED: 10/26/17 6:25 pm ET -- Adds details

BMW hopes its new X2, arriving in Canada next March, will appeal to active, younger car buyers looking for a uniquely individual car when it launches its first lifestyle crossover.