The seeds of failure

Last week, we asked readers for their opinion on the future prospects of NEVS. The result can be considered historical, because for the first time a large majority saw the failure of NEVS before their eyes.

Borgward plant Sebaldsbrueck. Image: Borgward AG
Borgward plant Sebaldsbrueck. Image: Borgward AG

Presumably they are right. Beyond all Saab romance, NEVS has accumulated too many mistakes. The trademark rights lost, no production, no liquidity, no clear concept. Under certain circumstances, the administrator will soon pull the plug; only a miracle can save. And they are known to be very, very rare.

A possible failure of NEVS does not have to be the end of Saab in the automotive industry, nor the end of the Trollhättan site. It could mean a new beginning. For the final farewell, the brand is too lively, the fan base too strong and the cars with the griffin just too good. We will see…

The industry is full of surprises, and because it's bland to write about NEVS, we're looking into the big, wide world today.

Will NEVS come to a positive conclusion?

  • No never! (64% 371 Votes)
  • Yes, in any case! (36% 212 Votes)

Total Voters: 583

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What is Qoros doing?

The car industry is not a simple patch. Even companies that may have done a lot more well than NEVS have an icy wind blowing in their faces. Do we remember Qoros? In Sweden, the brand was already celebrated as Saab 2.0, then it was quiet. No one talks about sales in the home country of Saab, the key word is disappointment.

The recipe sounded so good. Take a large amount of money, commit well-deserved veterans from the auto industry, mix European design with European technology from the kit of renowned suppliers and build in China premium cars for the world market.

The result: a handsome product with top marks in the NCAP crash test. Just….

... nobody likes to buy it. Qoros publishes no numbers, but makes no secret of the disappointment. The sale is well below expectations "... if 4 or 5 started years earlier, yes then ..." This is what Qoros says. Too late, the cake in the huge market is widely distributed, the industry is established and newcomers have a hard time. Qoros, as a home producer with a brand new product, is disappointing; how would NEVS have done with the renewed infusion of the 9-3?

In China, one speaks of 5.000 vehicles, which found 2014 customers from January to December. And Qoros does not get going, sales are scheduled to stall at 500 to 550 vehicles monthly. In order to get the Qoros 3 into the Chinese top ten, as announced, you will need a quantity from 200.000 to 300.000 units. No wonder the staff carousel is starting to turn in Shanghai. Qoros is an example that you can do a lot with a lot of money, but also reaches its limits. Without a crazy story in the background, without fan base, it is difficult to establish a brand.

While Qoros fights on and there are no more statements, from which point one would like to be profitable, in Switzerland amazing ...

Borgward is coming back ...

... and there is also a Saab link here. The story in brief: the grandson of the company founder, Christian Borgward, and a certain Karlheinz L. Knöss work for some time from Switzerland on the comeback, which is now to become a reality. The mentioned Mr Knöss - the name will not tell a lot of readers - was a member of the management of Saab Germany and director of public relations in the late 90s. With partner Foton in the background, the brand should be resurrected; The first sign of life is the Geneva Motor Show with a 400 sqm booth.

The draft of the first study came from the former Saab designer Einar Hareide, who was for a while director of design at Borgward. Whether he is still responsible for this is unclear. As of this year, 5 new Borgwards are expected to delight the market in quick succession; The focus is on the premium segment. The development work for the new vehicles is said to have taken place in Switzerland.

All right, the brand has disappeared 1961, now it comes back. The old Borgwards are cult, but after more than half a century, someone has been waiting for new cars? Investor Foton is China's number 4 in vehicle manufacturing, supposedly highly profitable, and one can credit the Chinese the necessary billions to revive Borgward.

Only - it has a blemish then. Borgward's parent company Sebaldsbrück is still occupied by the invaders from the southwest. They have been at home there since the 60 years. There are no signs that the Swabians are withdrawing from Bremen. The tradition remains in enemy hands.

And Borgward? A new car factory for Borgward in Germany, you would have heard that would be a sensation.

The borgwards are to be built in future in China. Premium for the world, a big traditional brand. And yet again a birth defect. Not that we misunderstand: I like these stories about big, old brands and the dreams for a comeback. The automotive landscape needs alternatives to the dominant monoculture. I wish the Borgward AG and the grandson of the founder all the success of the world. But it comes with the rebirth of legends to details, at least from a certain price and expectation class.

And with the name Borgward we are in one of the highest expectation classes! If you take a lot of money in hand, then you should treat yourself to the luxury of consequence in the smallest detail. Borgward is a German legend. Point.

Borgward from China in the future? Perhaps, despite all the romance of the automobile, the seeds of failure have already been planted there.

23 thoughts too "The seeds of failure"

  • Products from China depends on the image of a certain flaw. Many products confirm this as well.
    I myself am a professional in the automotive industry and it is rumored that there are simply no words in the Chinese language for "gap" and "quality control".

    On the other hand, we also have examples of how China produces very high-quality products that enjoy a very high reputation worldwide. For example, I am thinking of the apple products that we like to talk to on the phone. With an effective quality control by the right places a production in China is quite possible!

    Conclusion: If Borgward creates a similar construct, as the apple company fights, a production in China is no shortcoming!
    Good quality controls in combination with a very, very customer-oriented service on site at the customer are immensely important!
    Development and planning in Europe - and everything will be fine!

  • Why does Qoros not join Saab? Money seems to be there. And if we are already at the money, the Opel plant in Bochum is empty. Since Borgward could buy a plant immediately and the workers are certainly already available.

  • When you read about Qoros and Borgward, the Saab tragedy seems to look much better. Saab offers much more. An established brand in terms of awareness and values, a relatively large fan base and the prospect of a mass market with the right leadership. In the automotive industry these are very important factors in my opinion. Maybe we'll have a big surprise when NEVS leaves.
    For example, investing in Qoros or Borgward would never be an option for me.
    A car brand like Saab, properly managed and integrated into a group-building system, could be profitable.

    That's my opinion, LG

    • Bringing Saab back to life would, in my opinion, be easier than reviving Borgward or conjuring a brand like Qoros out of the retort. Since we agree 100%. But we do not understand anything about the car business

  • Interesting story with Borgward.
    However, it will be a big task to build a capable sales and service network in addition to the development costs.
    Since a takeover of SAAB is probably easier ....
    So I do not think SAAB is too black, just a decision soon
    ago ....

  • The plant in China would not bother me, a work in Germany would of course be the coronation for Borgward. But where does our German elite produce everywhere ?! And in the beginning it might be wise not to start in the lion's den !? Even after years you still think positively about the cars of Borgward! Since the revival of SAAB would have to be quite possible! I also feel the thought that will wait until NEVS ko is.

    • Definitely! That makes the biggest sense strategically. Would be synonymous to me the most, because then you could totally biased again sort the cards. So, some potential buyers may not even sit down at the negotiating table, as NEVS is still in the mix. And who would like to have such an air pump in the boat? At best suits for a dinghy

  • Dear Tom
    Since the title of this article scared me ... ..

  • I've been following the revival of Borgward for a while. Also because with Hareide and Knöss also some Saabgene are on board. I would be happy if the legend returned. I know that one wanted to have it first produced at Valmet in Finland. Also there would have been again a Saab parallel. However, quality or not, a Borgward may simply not be built in China, at least not if it is then sold in Europe, or even in Germany. This is just the style break par excellence, for me as a Swabian this would be like Rostbraten with Spätzle sweet sour, hell devil I can only say. I was born 1969 and my father drove an Isabella until the end of the 70 years, that means I grew up in a Borgward. It would be a little boyhood dream now, as there may not be a New Saab anyway, even own a Borgward. But certainly not a Borgward from China in any case. That is simply impossible and abysmal, does not work.

  • Hm, I see Borgward fail the next brand. Why should the old names bring it to start a company in the world market. That did not manage Mercedes with the past Maybach project, VW with Bugatti and a lot of money. The advantage of these brands was at least that they were built by hand in Germany and Italy. Surely the little Chinese hands are clever in assembling, but who wants a car from China, if he gets other premium brands that are on the up, such as Jaguar and soon Volvo again?
    Burning the money is easier for VW and Mercedes, where constantly new ones come in. But at Borgward? Who should associate the brand with premium. With credit, most are already under the ground ....

  • If Borgward is restarted, then please ORGINAL! From Western Europe .... at least!
    Although the said apple products are all made in Asia, but these are usually "exchanged" again after 12 months. Sustainable looks different! A pure consumer product.
    A car is not a consumer product for me. And if the car should be more valuable, then please also the right story, safety and cleanliness. Then the € change the owner. Borgward from China, does not work
    Bochum is free, Trollhättän is free (?) ... or maybe has capacity ..., closed Peugeotwerke in France or Belgium? All these are addresses ....

    • Where is Bochum free?
      Not even the property is to have because it was sold long ago.
      Do not overdo it with your dreams

    • God, I've been saying that for centuries.
      In addition, there were already beautiful SAAB prototypes (in I-Mac White), which could well have come from Cupertino.
      Nobody is waiting for any new car, for an I-SAAB.
      Imagine the shopping queues in front of the SAAB distribution points!
      Unbelievable, now I'm dreaming after breakfast
      Or is it an ineradicable resistant (SAAB) virus?

      • In 1996, NeXT had already largely reoriented itself to web design and databases for web servers. The NeXTStep operating system, although still the best in the world, has been neglected. As I've been told, it was developers at NeXT who simply got in touch with Steve Jobs, who were desperately looking for a solution to a successor to the old MacOS.

        Apple bought the whole store, got a super team including Steve Jobs, NeXTStep became MacOSX and later iOS, and if I did not have to sell Apple_Akties every now and then, I would be now, richer than that ... ..

        Maybe you just have to post the idea of ​​Apple & Saab on enough Apple forums until it reads some relevant people at Saab and Apple and maybe it does in some brain sometimes click.

        • Again, a little thought to larger corporations ...
          In their place, I would currently go easy on Saab. As long as NEVS suspects that interesting investors are approaching, they will not give up easily and try to get some more of the cake.
          By the way, my favorite candidate would be BMW. Everyone is allowed to dream ...
          Maybe we will still be pleasantly surprised. In any case, I think it is very likely that (set the case there) hold back the very large interested parties until NEVS has disappeared from the scene.
          Even if the work in Trollhättan disappeared in the sinking, for me that would not be the end for Saab. Of course, a Swedish work would be the icing on the cake ... As long as Swedish or European genes are included in a SAAB, it would be perfectly fine for me, even if, for example, Magna is made in Switzerland. One should perhaps also mentally dissolve from the location Trollhättan ... even if there is the birthplace. With a good overall concept, a lot is possible for me ...

        • Saab and Apple, the two names alone already fit well together. Can you imagine an iMercedes? Well, no, that does not work. But iSab has sound

          Considering how many cars are traveling around the world every day and polluting our beautiful world with exhaust fumes, a vehicle that dwarfs everything in power, handling and design would be truly the next big thing ".

          If someone can completely reinvent the car, then that is certainly not one of the traditional manufacturers.

  • Foton has not said anything to me yet. But as it seems, there are more investors who have large financial resources (and would like to use them in the automotive industry too!) As suspected.

    Possibly. Bergman and his crew have only bet on the wrong horses and should turn on the search light yet again - if the right investor bites it works well with the SAAB AB and possibly with an extension by the court.

    On the other hand, we have not heard that Mahindra had definitely left the negotiating table - so waiting for news with substance goes on unchanged.

  • NEVS out, Mahindra out, Foton in. Then build another Borgward on the Phoenix platform alongside Saab models in Trollhättan. That would be my dream. A win-win situation for everyone except NEVS, but they had their chance ... and not used.

  • In China, there were already industrial standards (office buildings), as here the small state despots learned with the word and noise the word manufactory. Countless objects in museums today show that Chinese people can meet any quality standards.

    But Borgward from China? If Spyker from the Netherlands does not work?

  • No, Borgward also the Middle Kingdom is utter nonsense. There is plenty of room for niche brands, but not at any price. BMW does it with Mini ... Volvo is also a Nieschenmarke

    • Saab was one too

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