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Frankfurt show: Borgward teases crossover debut

Old hat: Borgward folded in 1961, but a bold new plan backed by Chinese investors may pay dividends.

Reborn German car-maker Borgward hints at new crossover for Frankfurt show


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8 Sep 2015

REBORN German company Borgward will whip the covers off its first vehicle in more than 50 years, when it unveils a crossover at next week’s Frankfurt motor show.

It will be, according to the company, the first new vehicle of many as it aims to replicate its successes of the 1950s, where it was the fourth-largest car-maker in Germany, selling more than one millions cars and employing upwards of 20,000 at the height of its power.

The stylised image follows a photograph of the SUV’s tailgate from July, while camouflaged prototypes have also been snapped at the Nurburgring. It reveals a swoopy, low-slung four-door crossover with a high beltline and an unusually prominent rear bumper.

The brainchild of a clique of automotive heavyweights including former Daimler executive Karl-Heinz Knoess, former Saab designer Einar Hareide and the grandson of founder Carl Borgward, Christian, the company is owned by Chinese truck-maker Foton.

Few other details have been released about the impending launch. The company, which was the fourth-biggest brand in Germany in the 1950s, has lofty goals, forecasting annual production of 800,000 units by 2020, and worldwide sales of 1.25 million units by 2025.

The company has just announced a strategic partnership with major automotive engineering firm FEV, which says it has developed two petrol and two diesel engines for “series production”, as well as conducting research into alternative powertrain technology for the brand.

Production facilities in China are said to be fully operational with engines already being built, according to reports in German newspapers. Borgward, which will maintain its headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, will be sold in China, before pushing into the Indian and Brazilian markets.

“The Borgward Group AG with its HQ in Germany will provide a wide range of products engineered and designed in Germany, and will offer its customers accessible premium,” said chairman and CEO Ulrich Walker in a statement on the company’s website.

Borgward’s revival has been in train since 2006, with Mr Borgward intending to set up production in the German town of Bremen before financial backing for the project fell through.

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