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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's Vision iNext previews EV flagship

BMW's Vision iNext crossover concept showcases the automaker's ideas about how autonomous, connectivity and electric drivetrain technologies will be integrated into a flagship car planned to launch in 2021.

VW seeks industry alliance for self-driving technology

VW wants to team up with other automakers to create an industry standard for self-driving technology. Such a move would give companies better legal protection following accidents involving autonomous cars, VW believes.

VW en vías de asociarse con Ford

VW espera que una asociación estratégica con Ford no favorezca de manera desigual al fabricante de automóviles alemán a pesar de que es casi el doble del tamaño de su rival estadounidense, dijo un ejecutivo clave de VW detrás del acuerdo.

VW's dealer talks in U.S. will target profitability

When Volkswagen's formal discussions with U.S. dealers begin in early 2019, they'll be much different from negotiations it is holding with retailers in the rest of the world.

VW Group names finance exec as new sales chief

VW Group appointed Christian Dahlheim as its new head of group sales. Dalheim replaces Fred Kappler, who will retire from the company.

Mercedes worries about warranty costs for new EQC electric crossover

Mercedes' main concern is monitoring the expensive lithium ion battery in its new EQC electric crossover, rather than ramping up assembly in plants in Germany and China.

Daimler's Zetsche more cautious on EV forecast

Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche has dialed back from earlier forecasts for EV sales at the unveiling of the Mercedes EQC SUV, the first model from the company's electric EQ subbrand. Zetsche initially predicted that demand for electric cars would account for up to 25 percent of Daimler's vehicle sales by 2025.

Mercedes EQC takes aim at Tesla's premium EV dominance

Mercedes hopes to lure Tesla customers with its EQC, the first model from its new EQ family of full-electric cars.

Ford pact could affect VW pickup plans

The open question is whether to give VW dealers a rebadged Ford Ranger, or a unibody pickup based on the Atlas crossover.

Automakers' soaring ambitions for flying cars start to take shape

Since the automobile and airplane were invented, people have dreamed of merging the two so that cars could take flight. Now automakers are bringing the possibility closer.

VW exec touts potential of Ford partnership

VW expects that a strategic partnership with Ford would not unequally favor the German automaker even though it is nearly twice the size of its U.S. rival, said a key VW executive behind the deal.

Europe fears it's losing autonomous race

Volkswagon plans first launch of its autonomous vehicle, Sedric, in the U.S., rather than Germany, to avoid restrictions on technology that put the European auto industry at a competitive disadvantage.

Hyundai's N line gets a running start

Encouraged by the promising start of its performance line in a demanding European market, Hyundai hopes its upcoming Veloster N sports car can raise its perception among U.S. buyers.

Where Hyundai's N brand goes from here

Hyundai plans to launch at least two more N performance cars and could eventually develop an electrified version as it aims for a sportier image.

Porsche gives Macan customers in China a head start

In a first for a German automaker, Porsche is starting sales of its refreshed Macan SUV in China ahead of other markets.

Germany seeks to create self-driving infrastructure

Germany became the first country worldwide to legalize the use of a highly autonomous driving system last year, with a few stipulations.

Porsche raises full-year sales forecast on China

Porsche expects to increase its vehicle sales this year thanks to higher demand in China after previously forecasting flat volume.

VW Group aims Seat at Alfa Romeo once again

VW Group believes its Seat unit can now compete against Alfa Romeo in Europe, an ambition that failed in the past because the Spanish brand lacked Alfa's aspirational appeal.

Europe may fall behind in self-driving cars

Rules that restrict the use of driverless cars on public roads in Europe may give the U.S. and China an advantage in the race to launch fully autonomous vehicles.

Audi adds connectivity features to bigger Q3

Audi has made its Q3 bigger and added more tech and connectivity equipment for the compact SUV's second-generation.

Porsche gives updated Macan improved handling

Porsche has updated its Macan crossover with a fresher design, improved handling, as well as more comfort and connectivity features.

VW's Diess wins praise but big moves still need to be made

Herbert Diess' initial efforts to slim down VW Group's sprawling empire have earned him praise as he surpasses his first 100 days as CEO this week, even as the automaker's core strategic direction remains unchanged.

How Mercedes Vans transformed into an 'end-to-end solutions provider'

Mercedes-Benz Vans enjoyed a record sales year in 2017 based on solid demand for the large van segment, particularly the Sprinter. Volker Mornhinweg discussed the division's outlook with Automotive News Europe.

BMW, Mercedes boxed in by tariff battles

Mercedes-Benz and BMW stand to lose most from tit-for-tat import tariffs imposed first by the U.S. on China and then reciprocated. Unfortunately for both, there isn't much they can do to shield themselves from the fallout.

How I became a diesel believer again

Like many other people, my faith in diesel has been challenged by revelations of emissions cheating. But after driving a VW Golf fitted with a new Bosch after-treatment process that significantly lowers NOx pollution, I'm convinced the future of the powertrain might not look as bleak as it once did.


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