Register now for free access to - this week only.

Christiaan Hetzner

Automotive News Europe Germany Correspondent
Follow: Twitter
CLICK HERE to see our entire staff list

Recent authored articles

Mercedes gives rugged G class a smoother ride

Mercedes said the new G class will go on sale at the same price as the current car even though the rugged SUV's handling, comfort and safety has been significantly upgraded.

Porsche to develop EV supercar platform

Porsche will develop a platform for electric sports cars and supercars that may also be used by Audi and Lamborghini. The architecture will be parent VW Group's third purpose-built platform for full-electric cars.

Renault, Lada, Hyundai-Kia poised to gain from Russia's new stability

Russia's strengthening auto market is good news for automakers such as Renault-Nissan and its Russian subsidiary AvtoVAZ, as well as Hyundai and sister brand Kia.

European sales expected to edge upward in 2018 despite Brexit hit

Analysts expect European new-car market growth to be between 0.5 percent and 1.3 percent this year as a big slump in UK sales fueled by Brexit uncertainty hits the region's second-largest market.

VW rethinks parts units' competitive potential

As its German supplier neighbors get bigger and more advanced, Volkswagen moves to make its own parts operations more competitive.

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.