Christiaan Hetzner

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

Lithium next German power play?

BMW, Daimler and VW came together to acquire Nokia's HERE high-definition mapping unit in 2015 so will the German companies join forces to secure a sufficient supply of lithium? BMW, for one, seems willing.

A bitter end for Ferdinand Piech

Ferdinand Piech, a figure of transcendent importance in the history of the auto industry, is selling his 14.7 percent voting stake in the family firm that controls Volkswagen Group.

Audi's new development boss will start earlier than expected

Former Volvo executive Peter Mertens will become Audi's development chief earlier than anticipated, giving the VW Group premium brand a boost amid the diesel-emissions scandal.

Why VW patriarch Piech's parting will be bitter

Ferdinand Piech's plan to burn all bridges to his life's work and sell his indirect stake in VW Group shows that he has become increasingly embittered, family members believe.

Why VW patriarch Piech's parting will be bitter

Ferdinand Piech's plan to burn all bridges to his life's work and sell his indirect stake in VW Group shows that he has become increasingly embittered, family members believe.

VW brand has no budget-car plans with Tata in India

Volkswagen Group's core VW brand currently has no plans to develop a small budget car for India and other low-cost markets with Tata Motors.

VW hurries new EVs to meet CO2 targets

Volkswagen must have the first of its I.D. purpose-built electric cars on sale by 2020 to achieve CO2 reduction targets in Europe and China, company executives said.

VW to launch T-Roc in U.S. in '19

Volkswagen will launch the T-Roc compact crossover in the United States in 2019 after dealers gave a firm commitment they can sell enough of the vehicle to make it profitable.

Audi to launch coupe-styled Q4 crossover in '19

Audi will launch a coupe-styled Q4 crossover in 2019 to challenge models such as the Range Rover Evoque and upcoming BMW X2.

Audi defends plan for second JV in China

Audi defended a plan that has angered some of its China dealers and led to a plunge in its sales in its No. 1 market.

Audi CEO's polished exterior shows cracks amid diesel scandal

There are few German top managers as practiced as Audi CEO Rupert Stadler.

Audi CEO's polished exterior shows cracks amid diesel scandal

There are few German top managers as practiced as Audi CEO Rupert Stadler.

Audi will launch Q4 in 2019 in SUV push

Audi confirmed it will launch its Q4 in 2019 as the brand continues to expand in the fast-growing SUV/crossover market. The coupe-styled crossover will challenge models such as the BMW X2 and the Range Rover Evoque.

Why tougher EU emissions rules put the combustion engine's future in doubt

The EU is set to reshape the industry later this year when it agrees on stringent emission targets for the next decade that could mark the beginning of the end for traditional combustion-powered vehicles in the world's...

VW's Seat brand swung to profit in 2016

VW Group's Seat brand finally contributed to group earnings in 2016 as its operating result jumped to 153 million euros, after posting a loss of 10 million euros last year.

VW brand's cost-cutting likely to slow down on product offensive

Volkswagen Group's core VW brand reduced its fixed costs in Germany for the first time in nearly a decade last year, but management doesn't expect the brand can maintain the same momentum as it launches its biggest product...

Emissions rules made GM's decision easier

Big deals in the auto industry are rarely about a single vehicle, but to understand the cost pressures that helped prompt General Motors to abandon its European operations, consider the unassuming Opel Corsa subcompact.

Can PSA succeed where GM failed?

GM's sale of Opel represents a final acknowledgment that -- just as many industry experts in Europe believe -- a regional power such as PSA Group might be more suited to run the business in the face of increasingly...

VW hopes Arteon's hi-tech will lure BMW, Mercedes buyers

Volkswagen is debuting advanced safety and comfort equipment in the Arteon, in a bid to persuade upper management executives and entrepreneurs who drive a Mercedes E class or a BMW 5 series to buy its new flagship sedan.

Opel comes to its senses on Crossland X

Opel has come to its senses. The brand planned to focus on the wrong product at the Geneva auto show -- its second-generation Insignia -- while leaving its all-new Crossland X small crossover behind.

Opel's relationship with GM grew turbulent through the years

PSA's acquisition of Opel will end GM's nearly 90 years of ownership that grew more turbulent and acrimonious as time wore on.

Kia expects 'significant' growth in Europe

Kia expects its European market share to pass 3 percent this year for the first time, helped by new products such as the latest Picanto and Rio. The automaker aims to hit sales of 500,000 in the region in 2018.

Mercedes updates E-class convertible with 4wd, new safety equipment

Mercedes will show the fifth and final member of its new E-class family when its four-seat convertible debuts next week at the Geneva auto show.

How Opel and PSA are already successfully cooperating

Opel's new Crossland X SUV has at first glance many of the characteristics and design features found in the brand's other cars, but look a little closer and it's possible to see how GM and PSA have collaborated on the model,...

Opel changes its mind, will debut Crossland X

Opel has decided to show its new Crossland X subcompact crossover, the brand's first collaboration with PSA, at the Geneva auto show next week.

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