Christiaan Hetzner

Automotive News Europe Germany Correspondent
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Recent authored articles

Volkswagen is now under scrutiny of former leading U.S. law official

Former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson has started his role as Volkswagen Group's independent monitor, working from offices at the automaker's headquarters in Wolfsburg.

ZF exec looks for help to reduce traffic deaths

Torsten Gollewski, ZF's head of advanced engineering and a former Audi manager, is determined to reduce the 1.25 million traffic deaths that occur globally each year.

VW to reveal more details on EV microbus, source says

VW brand CEO Herbert Diess is expected to announce on Saturday more details regarding the production of the battery-powered I.D. Buzz microbus slated to debut in 2022, a company source told Automotive News Europe.

Opel debuts new retail format in Germany

Opel is piloting a new retail format that offers German customers the opportunity to purchase a new car while shopping in a mall, mimicking a concept first developed by the UK's Rockar dealership group for Hyundai.

VW brand achieves turnaround in Russia

Volkswagen brand reversed heavy losses in Russia, Europe's most promising growth market, helped by rising vehicle sales and a recovering currency.

A peek inside's VW's secret fortress

VW opened up to reporters its secretive proving grounds near Wolfsburg. Here's what we saw.

A peek inside's VW's secret fortress

VW opened up to reporters its secretive proving grounds near Wolfsburg where the company's brightest minds are working on solutions to the industry's most daunting challenges.

VW T-Roc will fill key gap in SUV lineup

UPDATED: Aug. 8 13:20 CET - adds China, U.S. plans

The T-Roc will fill a key gap in VW brand's lineup, giving the marque an edgier and more compact urban crossover alongside the traditional looks of the Tiguan.

Self-driving cars face type approval standards hurdle

Audi's new A8 can pilot itself along highways while the driver watches the on-board TV, but it may take until the end of the decade before countries can agree on how to validate its Level 3 self-driving system.

Ford calls German diesel deal 'ineffective'

Ford's German operations decided against an industry-wide program to clean up diesel cars with software updates, calling the plan ineffective.

German automakers offer software update to cut NOx emissions by 25%

UPDATED: Aug. 1 18:20 CET - new story

German automakers will offer software updates that will reduce diesel emissions from Euro 5 and Euro 6 diesel cars by at least 25 percent on average, the VDA industry association said.

German diesel summit must succeed in restoring confidence in fuel

What VW Group's emissions fraud failed to achieve, Stuttgart Mayor Fritz Kuhn may accomplish: turn Germans against their diesel cars as he pushes to ban most cars powered by the fuel from entering the city.

Cartel investigation threatens German collaboration

Should evidence emerge that VW, Daimler and BMW colluded on technical issues over the past three decades, it could impair their efforts to gang up against threats from Silicon Valley.

VW brand's 2017 profit margin may exceed target, finance chief says

Volkswagen Group's core VW brand could exceed its 2017 profit margin target, the automaker's finance chief, Arno Antlitz, said.

Ford CEO Hackett bullish on Europe despite profit fall

Ford CEO Jim Hackett expressed his strong commitment to the automaker's European operations even though the fallout from Brexit hit the company's second-half earnings in the region.

Four Audi board members face dismissal, report says

UPDATED: July 21 19:05 CET - corrected

Audi is considering dismissing four top executives including its sales and production chiefs as it wrestles with an emissions-cheating crisis, German newspaper Handelsblatt reported.

Lynk & CO's quest to build a brand from scratch

Former GM and Toyota executive Alain Visser has been tasked with building Lynk & CO from scratch. The new brand intends to focus on connectivity and sharing as core features, Visser told Automotive News Europe.

Audi confident new A8 will hold lead in race to offer Level 3 driving

Audi believes it will be the first automaker to launch a self-driving car even though its first model with that capability, the new A8, still needs to undergo lengthy government approvals that could allow a competitor to...

What, Porsche worry? You bet.

Porsche appears more immune than most to the looming disruption that is worrying the world's automobile manufacturers. But that's not how the company's leaders view it.

VW taps electric Golf to help meet China's EV quota

VW is looking to build the full-electric Golf in China next year -- using for the first time locally sourced battery cells from the country's main supplier -- to meet a controversial quota system for electrified vehicles.

Audi A8 poised to benefit from new self-driving law

Audi's new A8 is poised to be the first production car to take advantage of a law passed late last month in Germany that allows drivers to cede full or partial control should their cars have Level 3 or Level 4 autonomous...

Diesel decline risks reversing Germany's CO2 gains

Declining demand for diesels has put Germany on track to post its first rise in CO2 from its new-car fleet since EU policymakers began regulating tailpipe pollution in the late 1990s.

Industry needs 40 more gigafactories, VW says

A massive shortage in lithium ion battery cells could plague the global car industry in the coming decade if capacity equivalent to 40 Tesla gigafactories is not added by 2025, according to estimates from Volkswagen Group.

Bosch predicts 7% sales gain for auto division

Robert Bosch expects its automotive division to increase revenue by 7 percent this year to about 47 billion euros.

How Porsche will thrive in EV, autonomous era

Porsche knows that pulling all the usual levers to improve its business won't be enough in the future.