The revived German marque Borgward will build a factory in its historic hometown of Bremen, marking another step towards its return to production.
Work on the new facility is due to start in 2017, with plans to start vehicle production in 2018. The exact location of the factory has yet to be revealed – Borgward says it is in discussion with potential production partners, property owners and the State of Bremen.
Initially, between 50 and 100 jobs are to be created by the new facility. The first phase of development will create an assembly hall with a production capacity of 10,000 vehicles per year.
Borgward produced more than a million vehicles from the 1920s to the early 1960s, when it went bankrupt. But the name was revived last year by a consortium led by the grandson of the original company founder.
The new Borgward is backed by Foton, a subsidiary of the Beijing Automotive Industry Corporation (BAIC), and it has ambitious plans. Headquartered in Stuttgart and already active in China, the decision to build in Bremen is a mark of the company’s intention to expand into Europe, and cement its projected image as a German, rather than a Chinese company.
The first car to be produced in Bremen will be a fully electric version of the BX7, a seven-seat, luxury SUV, which is already built and sold as a plug-in hybrid in China, where it is positioned below Volkswagen’s Tiguan. Borgward has also shown prototypes of further SUVs, the BX5 and BX6, at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year. Electric and plug-in versions of the BX5 are already planned for Bremen, and more will follow.
The company recently hired Mini’s former design chief, Anders Warming, who will head up Borgward’s design team from January.