Borgward Seeks Investors, Buyers for Car Revival After 54 Years

  • Carmaker presents full-sized BX7 SUV at Frankfurt motor show
  • Borgward seeks at least five models, including sedan and van

Borgward Group AG, the German car brand that’s returning after ceasing operations in 1961, is seeking investors as well as buyers as it plots a revival that includes plans for at least five models.

The company, which is based in Stuttgart and backed by Chinese commercial-vehicle maker Beiqi Foton Motor Co., targets sales of more than 500,000 autos in the “medium term,” Chief Executive Officer Ulrich Walker said in an interview. Borgward, once Germany’s third-biggest carmaker, is presenting the BX7 sport utility vehicle at the Frankfurt International Motor Show. The company plans to flank the full-sized model with two smaller SUVs, a sedan and a van.

“We’ll make our moves in manageable steps,” said Walker, a former Daimler AG executive. Additional long-term investors would give the company a broader base for expansion.

The former maker of the Borgward Isabella and Hansa 1500 is the latest defunct brand seeking to make a comeback, joining the likes of British sports-car makers TVR Manufacturing Ltd. and Bristol Cars Ltd. They’ll face the pressure of an industry struggling to generate the returns needed to finance the development of new models, according to Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV. They also lack the dealer networks of established competitors.

“If you want to make a million in the car industry, you better start off with a billion,” Aston Martin Chief Executive Officer Andy Palmer said at a June industry conference in Birmingham, England.

Borgward production is slated to start early next year at a factory in Beijing, with sales initially targeted for China and nearby markets. Walker said the company’s advantage is that it can be more nimble because it lacks the overhead of larger competitors.

(For news from the Frankfurt car show, see SHOW.)

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