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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

Porsche to electrify majority of range over next decade

Porsche plans to switch to full-electric powertrains in its sedans and SUVs – and possibly even its entry 718 sports cars – over the next decade, the automaker's finance chief said.

Trade woes aplenty for German luxury brands

Both Brexit and the USMCA have the potential of redrawing the map when it comes to the complex web of vehicle and component production.

Porsche CFO sees huge potential for VW 'super group'

UPDATED: Oct. 15 11:51 CET - adds analyst comments

Porsche could be worth a fortune if listed with its sibling VW Group ultraluxury brands, finance chief Lutz Meschke said. He said that by applying the same stock market metrics as Ferrari the automaker's super premium brand group could attain a valuation of 60 billion to 70 billion euros.

Mercedes GLE plug-in to get long electric range

Daimler could be the first automaker to offer a combustion engine car with a 100 km (62 mile) electric range, when it launches the Mercedes GLE plug-in hybrid vehicle in the second half of next year.

German automakers' opposition to CO2 goal may backfire

German-led efforts to water down calls for a 40 percent cut in new-car CO2 emissions by 2030 may have immediate benefits for the country's automakers, but in the future it could result in them suffering much more drastic measures as the country strives to meet bigger pollution targets.

Mercedes plans advanced self-driving tech for S class

Mercedes's next S class, which is due in 2020, will offer the brand's first Level 3 self-driving system capable of eyes-off conditional autonomy.

Audi enters electric era with e-tron crossover

Audi hopes the 400-plus-km range of its new e-tron electric crossover and the vehicle's reproducible acceleration will entice customers to switch to a zero-emissions car.

Mercedes plans advanced self-driving tech for next S class

Mercedes's next S class, which is due in 2020, will offer the brand's first Level 3 self-driving system capable of eyes-off conditional autonomy.

BMW stops sales of i3 with range extender

BMW will stop offering range extenders powered by combustion engines on its i3 full-electric vehicle in Europe when a new, more powerful battery with 120 ampere-hours replaces its predecessor.

Daimler should consider Porsche exec as next finance chief

Lutz Meschke, Porsche's finance chief has done a remarkable job at the automaker, ensuring double-digit margins even in dark days of 2009 when he was a fresh senior executive.

EV battery producers prepare for huge production increase in Europe

Now that Europe's automakers are ramping up plans for electrified vehicles, suppliers are investing in industrial scale battery cell production in the region.

Audi hopes to hit full production capacity for e-tron by end of year

Production of the Audi e-tron started in September as planned and on time in Brussels, with hopes of reaching maximum output this year if the supply chain does not falter.

VW forms task force with battery cell supplier LG Chem ahead of EV launch

LG and its suppliers may be used to producing cells for consumer electronics, but VW's top-ranking EV executive says they have little experience with the demanding requirements and exact processes needed for automotive applications.

Mercedes aims for B class sales boost with sporty look

Mercedes believes that its new B class puts the "sport back into sports tourer" with a reworked minivan that offers passengers more interior space and sharper looks.

Jailed Audi CEO Stadler could get big pay out

Audi's Rupert Stadler stands to receive a golden parachute, earning millions if he agrees to step down as chief executive with years still left on his contract.

2 Alabama factory veterans move to the top at Daimler

In one of the smoothest transitions in Daimler's modern history, Ola Källenius, head of group research and Mercedes-Benz Cars development, was picked to replace veteran Dieter Zetsche as CEO following the annual general meeting on May 22.

Audi suffers new blow as development boss steps down

Audi's technical development chief, Peter Mertens, is stepping down for health reasons in the latest blow to the luxury brand that is embroiled in parent VW Group's diesel-emissions cheating scandal.

VW postpones decision on jailed Audi CEO Stadler

UPDATED: 9/28/18 10:24 am ET - new story

Volkswagen Group's supervisory board on Friday postponed a decision on the future of Audi CEO Rupert Stadler, who has been jailed since June in connection with the company's diesel emissions violations.

BMW seeks partners for second-generation self-driving system

BMW is working with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Canadian supply giant Magna International, Intel and Mobileye to bring a new self-driving platform to the entire automotive market by 2021.

BMW seeks partners for second-generation self-driving system

BMW's second-generation self-driving system will likely debut before the middle of the next decade. To reduce costs, the automaker wants to partner with other companies in the system’s development.

Chery to open design center in Germany

Chinese automaker Chery will open a development and design center in Germany as it prepares to launch models in Europe to be sold under the Exeed brand.

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.

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