Borgward returns to Geneva after 55-year-absence [w/video]

  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
"Given the will to succeed, you can achieve anything." With those words, Christian Borgward seeks to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather, Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Borgward, founder of the Borgward brand of automobiles that was the third largest automobile manufacturer in Germany in the 1950s after being born in 1919 and producing its last vehicle in 1961.

The car you see above and in our gallery of live images isn't new. In fact, Borgward is currently promising to show its first all-new model at the upcoming show in Frankfurt in September. We don't know much about what it has planned, but Borgward says it's committed to producing "a state-of-the-art emobility system," which we take to mean an electric powertrain, or possibly a hybrid.

Borgward is also pushing what it calls a "telematic concept called Multiple Interaction." We've no idea what it means, but perhaps this helps: "The Borgward will become your personal assistant, companion, entertainer, information provider, and caretaker – wherever you are."

There's plenty more transformative talk in the press release below – such as, "Borgward is seeking no less than a reinvention of the automotive social eco-system" – but we suggest you ogle the high-res image gallery above before looking down below.

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Today, the legendary German manufacturer Borgward announces its return to the circle of internationally renowned car makers.
In front of a global media audience, Borgward present their exciting plans for the future on the first press day of the 85th Geneva International Motor Show.
The newly formed organisation will establish its global headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany.
A full range of innovative new Borgward cars will be launched in the years to come with the first model due to be unveiled at the 2015 International Motor Show Cars (IAA) in Frankfurt.
Based on the company's historical commitment to technological innovation, a special emphasis will be put on e-mobility and the Borgward Multiple Interaction model.

The Return of Borgward

In its heyday, it employed 23,000 people. More than one million vehicles rolled off its production lines. Now, after a hiatus lasting more than half a century, one of the most revered names in the German car industry, Borgward, is back.

It's an unprecedented event in automotive history and represents the culmination of more than a decade's worth of groundwork by Christian Borgward, grandson of the legendary company founder Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Borgward, and the industrial Executive Karlheinz L. Knöss. "Inspired by my grandfather's example, we believe that, given the will to succeed, you can achieve anything", Christian Borgward says, as he presents his 21st century vision for this most remarkable of car companies. "We are rolling out Borgward cars that are worthy of the name because they are luxurious, inventive, and bold. Just like those of my grandfather."

In front of a global media audience, Borgward confirms its intention to launch a range of innovative new cars, with the first all-new model due to be unveiled at the 2015 Frankfurt International Motor Show Cars (IAA) in September. Two to three models will then be introduced every year, honouring a commitment to deliver a complete product range. The focus will initially be on Germany and emerging markets where Borgward intends to set up local production centres. The new global headquarters – including R&D, design, engineering, marketing, and retail – will be established in Stuttgart, Germany, the heart of the European automotive industry.

A compelling history, a dramatic new story

During the 1950s, Borgward was the third largest automotive manufacturer in Germany and pioneer of the "accessible premium" saloon paradigm. But the Group's line-up also encompassed small and medium-sized cars, as well as light and heavy-duty commercial vehicles. Amongst the company's biggest successes were the Hansa 1500, the P 100, and the prestigious Isabella – a true brand hero whose coupé sibling ranked among the most desirable cars of the period, and remains highly sought-after by the cognoscenti today.

Historically, Borgward's cars were regarded as innovative, elegant, and reliable. These are the values the company espouses now as it prepares to engage with a wildly different automotive landscape. Plans for the company's renaissance actually commenced at the start of the new millennium. Since then, an ever-expanding group of globally renowned engineers and experts, including Norwegian designer Einar Hareide, has worked quietly but tenaciously to revive this singular brand. The goal has now been reached.

"When I first began discussing the idea with Christian Borgward, we kept asking ourselves the same question, 'What would have happened if Borgward had endured?"' Vice President and CEO of Borgward AG Karlheinz L. Knöss says, "Unique companies and brands are characterised by passion, a pioneering spirit, and enduring values. Borgward personified these attributes instilled by the strong and single-minded personality of Carl F. W. Borgward, his ideas, his products, and his visionary business leadership."

Borgward's fascinating heritage, its uplifting brand appeal, and continuing great potential have not only convinced a team of internationally renowned car experts, but also a strong set of partners, to invest in the brand's return and contribute to the historic rebirth of the car maker. "Borgward is a German premium brand. This German heritage – values such as quality, reliability, elegance, innovation, intelligence – and our unique tradition provide a solid platform for building a successful future. As a designer, constructor, and businessman, Carl F. W. Borgward left behind a remarkable life's work", says Knöss. "Borgward was one of only two manufacturers in Germany offering a range of products spanning the entire road vehicle portfolio. Borgward was always looking beyond the immediate horizon from a cosmopolitan perspective. Its success was fuelled by an international orientation and innovation. Borgward's strategic alignment for the future is built on the same foundations."

Borgward's commitment to innovation

Borgward's Head of Design Einar Hareide is setting the template for a visual philosophy that will mark the company out from its competitors. While fiercely proud of its heritage, Borgward is committed to new forms and shapes. This forward-thinking attitude is also manifested in its approach to the individual markets Borgward will enter, and a passion for innovation.

"We need to be ahead of our customers and understand the society and culture in which the vehicle shall exist. Based on that, we can create products that really do something beneficial and provide innovative solutions to issues that customers might not even be aware of. Borgward was famous for introducing new innovations with every car. We intend to follow this principle", Hareide insists.

Borgward was already pioneering revolutionary design elements and cutting-edge powertrain technologies back in the 1950s and had established numerous world firsts long before other manufacturers contemplated their use. Innovative pontoon chassis design and compression ignition engines serve as an example in this context.

Consequently, e-mobility is a major topic for Borgward. The company was an early adopter in this field – with its lightweight electric mail delivery trucks back in the 1920s. Intelligent electric power-assisted propulsion concepts not only offer a groundbreaking opportunity to control the most diverse driving situations, but also deliver numerous benefits to motorists.

Borgward is working on a state-of-the-art e-mobility system, details of which will emerge in the coming months. Needless to say, the system combines the benefits of greater fuel economy, reduced emissions, enhanced performance, greater safety, and optimum traction.

Connectivity is obviously an equally important consideration to the end user. In an ever more interconnected world, one-way communication with the customer is no longer satisfactory. Borgward therefore attaches great importance to interacting with its customers as intensively and engagingly as possible. Borgward's innovative telematic concept called Multiple Interaction will similarly change the way you think about the car. The Borgward will become your personal assistant, companion, entertainer, information provider, and caretaker – wherever you are.

Close connectivity is also fundamental to the cordial and smooth collaboration between the company's technology centres in Germany and abroad. Customer feedback is even integrated in the R&D process. This consistently broad-minded approach ensures that consideration is given to every need, including the desires of customers and partners.

Accessible premium – the democratisation of quality

Borgward is seeking to identify the real needs of drivers in a period of great transformation in society, during which mobility patterns are radically changing. Truly pivotal and groundbreaking technologies should not be the preserve of the few – throughout Borgward's history, the democratisation of seminal, efficient technology has been a constant priority.

Borgward's global approach also allows the necessary scaling of state-of-the-art technology, the setting of different priorities in discrete regions, and fresh solutions. "Resource Integration, German Intelligent Manufacturing, Multiple Interaction" – this is the strategy that underpins Borgward's rebirth. Efficient use of industry synergies, new partnerships, and innovative management will all contribute to a 21st century business model. In tandem with a global digital sales network, Borgward is seeking no less than a reinvention of the automotive social eco-system.

Whenever it makes sense to collaborate with external partners, Borgward scans the global portfolio of suppliers before identifying those most consistent with the brand's quality mission. Close partnerships have already been forged. This policy further enables the company to guarantee process safety and extensive standardisation so that it can offer, at reasonable prices, technology that is not only first-rate, but also mature and dependable – in short, accessible premium quality.


Borgward Geneva Teaser

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