Borgward returns to the automotive fray

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Thread: Borgward returns to the automotive fray

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    Borgward returns to the automotive fray

    http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/mo...utomotive-fray


    Borgward returns to the automotive fray
    Hugely ambitious plan to resurrect German manufacturer that has been dormant for 54 years
    by Greg Kable
    4 March 2015

    German car maker Borgward has been resurrected by a consortium led by the grandson of the original company founder.

    The relaunch of the once prominent German company, revealed at the Geneva motor show, comes more than half a century after Borgward ceased operations, following bankruptcy in 1961.

    Karl-Heinz Knoess, the new president of Borgward, said the revived company will target traditional European and emerging markets with a range of “luxurious, inventive and bold” models. The first is planned to be unveiled in production guise at the Frankfurt motor show in September, prior to the start of sales in 2016.

    Knoess told Autocar that the new company will be based in Germany’s automotive heartland in Stuttgart. It aims to deliver up to 800,000 cars per year by 2020 in the initial phase of a business plan aimed at re-establishing the Borgward brand.

    In a second phase of operations, Borgward proposes to produce up to 1.6 million cars annually by 2025.

    “We want to become one of the top players in the automotive industry,” said Knoess, who previously worked for Daimler and General Motors, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz.

    The modern-day Borgward line-up will be based around a series of modular platform structures, and a range of proprietary petrol, diesel and hybrid drivelines. These will be developed by Borgward in partnership with a team of yet-to-be-revealed supplier companies.

    Taking aim at Mercedes-Benz, and its alliance partnership with Renault, Knoess said: “We don’t want to buy Renault engines and put them in our cars like other premium German manufacturers do. We want the Borgward name on our engine.”

    Among the team assembled by Knoess to bring Borgward back to life is former Saab design boss, Einar Hareide. He has been tasked with designing a range of models that, he says, will encapsulate the “accessible premium” model that distinguished former Borgward products.

    “Borgward was famous for introducing new innovations with every car," said Hareide. "We intend to follow this principle."

    As well as promising contemporary solutions in the areas of platforms and engines, the company also said it was focusing heavily on in-car connectivity. A spokesman said its telematics concept, called Multiple Interaction, will “change the way you think about the car”.

    Hareide said the new range of Borgwards will not be retro in appearance but build on the characteristics of earlier models with what he described as “elegance, functionality, accessibility and quality”.

    “They will be right for the markets in which they are sold,” he said.

    The first new Borgward model will be an SUV. Details remain scarce, although indications are that its dimensions will be close to the Mercedes-Benz M-class.

    “It is important to make products that will be sold, so this is the segment where we want to be and build from,” said Knoess.

    A second Borgward production model has been confirmed for the 2016 Geneva motor show. Knoess refused to divulge where the new Borgward models will be produced, but he denied reports suggesting they could be assembled at either Magna in Austria or Valmet in Finland: “We have no contact with these companies. Our production will be flexible on demand.”

    The revival of Borgward is being led by Christian Borgward, the grandson of company founder Carl Borgward.

    “We intend to roll out models that are worthy of the name," he said. "They will be luxurious, inventive and bold – just like those of my grandfather.”

    Details about the financial structure of the company were not revealed, although officials confirmed that Foton, China’s largest producer of commercial vehicles and light trucks, is among its more prominent partners.

    Borgward was founded in 1919 and had manufacturing facilities in Bremen, north Germany. Once regarded as a rival to such revered brands as Mercedes-Benz, the company’s more successful models included the Hansa 1500 of 1949, the Isabella launched in 1955 and the P100 introduced in 1959.

    Carl Borgward’s passion for motor racing saw the car maker field factory-backed entries in the Le Mans 24 hour and Nürburgring 1000km events.

    Although the company produced a total of 200,000 cars, it went bankrupt in 1961. Its Bremen production base was purchased by Mercedes-Benz. It is now used for the production of the C-class, soon-to-be-replaced GLK, SLK and SL.

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    Re: Borgward returns to the automotive fray

    I've just looked at their projected sales, talk about ambitious!

    JLR are one of the most ambitious car makers right now, seeking to increase production/sales from 400,000 last year to 600,000 by 2020.

    Borgward are planning 800,000 by 2020 and 1,600,000 by 2025 - so on that basis, they're planning to overtake JLR in about 3 years, from a standing start.

    So GMI might be discussing the big German four premium brands, not three.

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    Re: Borgward returns to the automotive fray

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruperts Trooper View Post
    I've just looked at their projected sales, talk about ambitious!

    JLR are one of the most ambitious car makers right now, seeking to increase production/sales from 400,000 last year to 600,000 by 2020.

    Borgward are planning 800,000 by 2020 and 1,600,000 by 2025 - so on that basis, they're planning to overtake JLR in about 3 years, from a standing start.

    So GMI might be discussing the big German four premium brands, not three.
    Some auto executives are on crack. Again.

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    Re: Borgward returns to the automotive fray

    And why not a billion? I can't take this seriously. As much as I love and applaud any new entrants, aiming to be that big right away means they will absolutely not focus on building truly unique and fantastic automobiles, but will instead find the biggest trends and copy the leaders.
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    Re: Borgward returns to the automotive fray

    Checks calendar. No, not April 1. This, then, is either a spoof or someone needs an intervention.

    In other news, DeSoto, Packard, Studebaker, King Midget, Oldsmobile, and Plymouth are all in talks with Bill Gates regarding financing their reincarnations.
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    Re: Borgward returns to the automotive fray

    If this is what they will look like, and if they are built over engineered like Benz used to, I'd buy one....







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    Re: Borgward returns to the automotive fray

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruperts Trooper View Post
    I've just looked at their projected sales, talk about ambitious!

    JLR are one of the most ambitious car makers right now, seeking to increase production/sales from 400,000 last year to 600,000 by 2020.

    Borgward are planning 800,000 by 2020 and 1,600,000 by 2025 - so on that basis, they're planning to overtake JLR in about 3 years, from a standing start.

    So GMI might be discussing the big German four premium brands, not three.
    Borgward isn't going to be premium, it's going to be semi-premium. Think Saab or Acura.

    1.6m is notgonnahappen.gif, not by 2020. JLR is an established company looking for 600k, Cadillac is looking to double to 500k. Both already exist with a manufacturing base.

    Borgward has nothing.

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    Re: Borgward returns to the automotive fray

    Quote Originally Posted by sfbreh View Post
    Borgward isn't going to be premium, it's going to be semi-premium. Think Saab or Acura.

    1.6m is notgonnahappen.gif, not by 2020. JLR is an established company looking for 600k, Cadillac is looking to double to 500k. Both already exist with a manufacturing base.

    Borgward has nothing.
    Yes, a German Saab is exactly what they would be. If they get good organised German management in place backed by a lot of Chinese cash - stir in a bit of luck and some interesting vehicles - and people could be surprised at how ell they do.


    BTW. I think they will start and base in Germany for the image, but big sales numbers will come from Chinese operations.... where Foton can leverage a massive existing structure.




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    Re: Borgward returns to the automotive fray

    When the company's assets were being sold off in the early 1960s, the tooling and rights for the Borgward Arabella's little horizontally-opposed four-cylinder engine went to a fledgling Japanese automaker:

    Subaru.

    The rest is history.

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    Re: Borgward returns to the automotive fray

    Quote Originally Posted by t-rex View Post
    When the company's assets were being sold off in the early 1960s, the tooling and rights for the Borgward Arabella's little horizontally-opposed four-cylinder engine went to a fledgling Japanese automaker:

    Subaru.

    The rest is history.
    The Subaru EA engine precedes the Arabella - there's some evidence it was designed by the Nakajima Aircraft Company, part of Fuji, for use in a light aircraft but the restrictions imposed on Nakajima after WW2 prevented aircraft production so their talents were switched to cars, initially the Subaru 360 but when they progressed to a larger car that needed a 4-cylinder engine, the EA development work was completed and used in the Subaru 1000.

    As what goes around comes around, the EA has found homes in a number of homebuilt aircraft.

    In March 1963 all the equipment from the Borgward factory was shipped to Mexico and the Impulsora Mexicana Automotriz carried on production of the P100 Big Six but not the Isabella.

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    Re: Borgward returns to the automotive fray

    Thanks for the correction, Ruperts! I had read the Borgward-Subaru connection somewhere many many years ago. Maybe I'll get around to digging through my mountain of auto literature to find exactly where!

    A group of South Africans looked into buying the Isabella's tooling to produce a locally-manufactured car, but the Isabella was ageing and it would have cost too much to update the styling. So unfortunate that Borgward failed; it was a very popular car in the few years it was sold in South Africa, selling well in the Afrikaner community, especially amongst the broederbond crowd...

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    Re: Borgward returns to the automotive fray

    Where's the money coming from? It all sounds like they have a couple of billion euro's to play with. Don't they realize that just a name is not enough to launch or revive a car brand? Saab forms an interesting lesson in this respect.
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