The German Borgward brand has started its comeback strategy in China, where the company is also ready to build cars at its new plant.
It has been more than half a century since Borgward built a car, but now it is ready for a comeback. Once Germany’s third-biggest automaker, the company has set some bold targets in the medium term, aiming to sale over 500,000 units a year. Now owned by the China’s Beiqi Foton Motor – which makes commercial vehicles, Borgward debuted last year at the Frankfurt Motor Show with the BX7 midsize SUV, to also make an appearance at Geneva this year with two other projects, BX6 TS and the BX5. Now, it has just announced the brand is fully operational in China and said it would begin to sell the BX7 after the Beijing auto show next month.
Borgward’s new plant in China’s capital is also ready for production. Occupying an area of 1.10 million square meters, it has a maximum annual capacity of 160,000 units, which can increase to 360,000 units in the second phase. “We are building an advanced platform and a modular production system based on the smart manufacturing model,” CEO Ulrich Walke said. “We have successfully established partnerships with nearly 100 dealers to date. Moreover, this dealer network is expected to grow to 120 dealers by the end of 2016, and 200 in 2017, covering key cities of the Chinese market,” he added.
Walker, a former top Daimler executive, said he is fully aware of its responsibilities as a German company and he is considering building a production facility in Germany as well. “We only start with plug-in hybrids and purely electric vehicles on the German and other European markets, and these at attractive prices”, Walker promised. The market launch in “German-speaking countries” is set to take place at the end of 2017.