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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

Samsung vies for $20 billion in auto business

Samsung probably wouldn't have paid much attention to automotive -- until suddenly the industry started talking about real technology.

Audi tech strategy: Add EVs, cut big engines

Audi is rethinking its whole engine lineup as it embraces electrification and works with Porsche to co-develop vehicle architecture.

How Mercedes turned a 'crazy' idea into gold

A little more than 20 years ago, the Mercedes W163 rolled off the assembly line at the company's U.S. plant, launching the M class. It was a risky experiment that continues to pay big dividends.

How Mercedes turned a 'crazy' idea into gold

A little more than 20 years ago, the Mercedes W163 rolled off the assembly line at the company's U.S. plant, launching the M class. It was a risky experiment that continues to pay big dividends.

Audi exec shares views on EV push

Audi is striving to take the early lead in the race to offer self-driving technology with the Level 3-capable A8 sedan and also plans to debut one EV each year from 2018 until 2020.

Industry shifts blame, again, for diesel woes

The industry's favorite tactic since the diesel has come under attack in Europe for excessive emissions has been to blame others. Now the target is the legislation itself.

M-B's 'crazy' idea revived Alabama

Twenty years after Mercedes took the big risk of building an SUV in Alabama, it is underscoring that decision with a $1 billion investment.

Loss of marketing exec stings at Opel

Tina Mueller was a bright spot in Opel's management, having revived what was perceived to be a bankrupt brand in Germany.

Daimler to ramp up battery production

In Alabama, Daimler will produce battery packs with annual capacity of at least 10 gigawatt-hours for its EQ line of EVs, said a senior company executive.

Why automakers are at a crossroads on diesel rescue

Fuel-efficient diesel cars were seen as the answer to cutting CO2 emissions in Europe. But the VW scandal highlighted their high levels of NOx pollution. Automakers now face the question of whether diesels are worth saving.

'Chic' VW Polo targets younger buyers

VW is repositioning the Polo subcompact to appeal to younger buyers, abandoning an approach in which its No. 2-selling vehicle was a catch-all model for customers who couldn't afford the larger Golf compact.

Opel's loss of key executives makes turnaround much harder

UPDATED: Sept. 26 18:15 CET - adds no replacement

Opel faces a tough task replacing the automaker's award-winning marketing chief, Tina Mueller, who is joining German cosmetics retailer Douglas as CEO.

Daimler plans $1B investment in Ala. to build EQ electric utility vehicles

UPDATED: 9/21/17 12:10 pm - adds press materials

Daimler AG is investing an additional $1 billion in its U.S. factory in Vance, Ala., expanding the 20-year-old site to build fully electric utility vehicles under its EQ subbrand along with their battery packs.

BMW: Join autonomous group now

UPDATED: 9/20/17 8:00 am ET - adds detail

BMW has imposed a year-end deadline for industry partners to join its autonomous vehicle alliance. It believes more carmakers will follow FCA in joining.

Why Carlos, Dieter didn't perform in Frankfurt

The "Carlos and Dieter Show" did not take place at this year's Frankfurt auto show. That could be a sign of trouble.

Volkswagen readies its robo-fleets

CEO Matthias Mueller said the Sedric self-driving concept shown in Geneva and Frankfurt was only the beginning.

BMW electric sedan will give i subbrand a boost

BMW has unveiled the i Vision Dynamics concept, previewing an upcoming third model for its i subbrand that will be a rival to the Tesla Model 3.

Daimler reveals the dark secret behind EVs

Daimler has revealed the dark secret that explains exactly why the German auto industry has been so loath to embrace EVs until now: lack of profit.

Mercedes will cut costs to fund EVs; may not meet margin target

Mercedes says the launch of its EQ electric vehicle family could mean it may not meet its profit margin target in the midterm.

Mercedes touts 'breath-taking' performance for Project One supercar

Mercedes unveiled its Formula One-inspired Project One concept, touting the supercar's performance as "breath-taking." The 1,000-hp two-seater brings F1 racing technology to the road for the first time, the automaker said.

Carlos and Dieter show takes a break

The “Carlos and Dieter Show” will not take place this year at the Frankfurt auto show. It could be a sign of trouble for their alliance.

Carlos and Dieter show takes a break

The “Carlos and Dieter Show” will not take place this year at the Frankfurt auto show. It could be a sign of trouble for their alliance.

Suppliers adjust powertrain plans as pressure mounts on combustion engines

As the internal combustion comes under increasing pressure because of air pollution and emissions fears, suppliers such as Bosch, Delphi and Continental are adjusting their powertrain operations.

First impressions of Audi's self-driving system

The Level 3 autonomous driving technology in the new Audi A8, which will be on display at the upcoming Frankfurt auto show, has some interesting highlights.

Audi may seek type approval exemption for A8's self-driving system

Audi will most likely seek a type approval exemption from regulators to speed up the introduction in Europe of its Traffic Jam Pilot, the first Level 3 autonomous system in a series production car.

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