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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

VW brand plans 'massive reduction' in model complexity, engine variants

UPDATED: 12/6/18 11:38 am ET - adds details

VW said there will be a "massive reduction" in the complexity of its model portfolio as it seeks to raise profit margins for its core brand.

Schaeffler will expand into electric motor production

Schaeffler plans to expand its drivetrain portfolio to include electric motors as early as 2020 following last year's acquisition of wholly-owned subsidiary Compact Dynamics.

Porsche makes 911 faster, adds tech to counter Tesla threat

Porsche is making its 911 faster and adding more technology to keep its most lucrative model relevant as the industry shifts toward full-electric sports cars.

Audi e-tron GT concept previews Tesla Model S rival

Audi's e-tron GT concept will go into production in 2020 as a rival to the Tesla Model S.

VW will boost digital marketing in efficiency drive

VW brand will increase digital marketing spending to 50 percent of its media mix from 25 percent and reduce the number of its global advertising agencies to three from 40.

VW brand COO outlines his plans for Europe's top automaker

Volkswagen brand is readying the launches of a raft of new products in Europe including the new Golf and the T-Cross small SUV. Chief Operating Officer Ralf Brandstaetter outlined his priorities for the brand.

Why horsepower needs to be retired

With the mass-market introduction of electric vehicles it is time to think less of horsepower and more of kilowatts when judging a vehicle's power.

Why horsepower needs to be retired

With the mass-market introduction of electric vehicles it is time to think less of horsepower and more of kilowatts when judging a vehicle's power.

VW may share EV platform with Ford

Volkswagen could be open to sharing its new electric vehicle platform with Ford as the automaker seeks to establish partnerships to share development costs.

VW distances itself from IPO speculation

VW has backed away from recent speculation sparked by its Porsche brand that the group might spin-off its passenger-car operations and partially float them on the stock exchange.

Bentley mulls electric car to help reduce carbon footprint

Bentley is considering launching its first full-electric vehicle to help reduce its fleet CO2 emissions as lawmakers introduce stricter reduction targets.

VW rewrites the rules with new retail agreement

VW's deal with its European retailers — a potential framework for upcoming negotiations in the U.S. — includes unique revenue-sharing arrangements and eases infrastructure demands to boost dealership profits as electric vehicles cut down on service business.

BMW, German dealers at odds over incentives

BMW has taken a different approach from Volkswagen when it comes to digital business models, frustrating some European dealers who say the automaker should offer them more financial incentives.

VW accelerates SUV push with T-Cross

VW accelerated its push into the booming SUV segment with the T-Cross, a small car that will compete in Europe against popular rivals such as the Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008.

VW eyes Chattanooga for production of 3 EVs

Volkswagen is getting close to deciding whether to build up to three electric vehicles at its plant in Chattanooga.

Porsche exec sees potential in a VW luxury stock

Porsche's finance chief has floated the idea of a Porsche public offering that includes Volkswagen Group's other luxury brands.

Taycan slots between Cayenne, Panamera

The Porche Taycan likely to sport a price tag of about $92,500, in between the price of a Cayenne and a Panamera.

Daimler loses complicated, costly refrigerant battle

Daimler's profit warning, its second this year, brought back an old issue many might have forgotten: its brief crusade against a refrigerant five years ago.

Why Porsche's CFO calls Germany's digital infrastructure a 'catastrophe'

Porsche's CFO and IT boss says that Germany's digital infrastructure "is an absolute catastrophe" that could threaten the domestic auto industry's competitiveness and profitability in the next decade.

Porsche to price Taycan between Cayenne, Panamera

Porsche will position the Taycan below the brand's Panamera sedan when the electric four-door sports car reaches markets next year, with a likely starting price above 80,000 euros (about $92,500).

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.

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.

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.

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.


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