German automaker Borgward returns to Bremen

Posted on 1 Nov 2016 by Michael Cruickshank

Borgward, once one of Germany’s largest automakers, is returning to the country after a 50 year hiatus.

Last week the company announced that it would open a new manufacturing facility in the German city of Bremen producing electric vehicles.

The company itself went bankrupt in 1962, before the brand was revived last year by the former CEO’s grandson and Chinese investors.

Borgward came back on the scene with a new vehicle produced in China called the BX7 which has already sold 15,000 units in the country.

Continuing the company’s resurrection, Borgward is now outlining plans to build a new factory in Bremen, the site of its former HQ.

“Through our return to Bremen we are linking the past with the future,” said Ulrich Walker, CEO of Borgward Group AG, “We are continuing to write the history of Borgward.”

Construction of this new factory will begin early next year and it will begin producing vehicles in 2018.

The factory itself will be used to produce a new and more advanced form of the BX7 which uses a battery electric drive. As well it will produce battery electric and plug-in hybrid versions of Borgward’s recently announced BX5 and BX6 models.

Previously Borgward produced up to 1.2 million vehicles in Bremen, however its initial targets for re-launching production are significantly lower.

Borgward is aiming for an initial production capacity of around 10,000 vehicles per year, but is planning to build the factory in such a way that it can be easily scaled up in order to meet demand.

“Production will be designed from the ground up to be flexible and organized in such a way that we can adjust – and thus increase – production output and the number of models to the demand at any time as we enter other European markets,” says CEO Walker.

Initially the factory will employ between 50-100 workers, but this too is expected to grow as demand and subsequent production increases.

Nonetheless, Borgward’s existing plant in Miyun, China will remain the company’s manufacturing hub.

Significantly, the existence of the Bremen factory will enable Borgward to market itself as a ‘German brand’ to quality-conscious Chinese consumers.