View over the (Saab) Tellerrand

NEVS wants to leave the reconstruction in the next week. At the same time, further decisions are to be made public. That could be exciting ... Before that we still have enough time to think outside the box again ...

Karlheinz L. Knöss, Vice President and CEO Borgward AG. Image: obs / BORGWARD AG
Karlheinz L. Knöss, Vice President and CEO Borgward AG. Image: obs / BORGWARD AG

We can not (yet) guess where the journey from NEVS is going, even if slightly positive signals are coming. Elsewhere, the comeback is already rolling.

Borgward. Lately been a guest on the blog lately. We saw the first attempts at walking in Geneva. They were well received. The stand was awarded a prize for a bold, innovative appearance.

Although I didn't find it so extraordinarily innovative. If someone had asked me what a Saab comeback appearance could look like, I would only have suggested a big Saab lettering as a gut decision. Saab is back, a clearly communicated message. Then nothing ! But there is no comeback at the moment, nor would anyone at Saab ever seriously ask my opinion.

Back to the topic Borgward. I like comebacks! Here is a summary of the news:

In Stuttgart, the returnees want to settle on the former IBM campus. Named "Eiermann Areal" after the architect, the 20 hectare site was deserted for a long time. Foton negotiates for Borgward. The headquarters of Borgward 2019 with development, design and sales are to be built there by 2.0. Stuttgart will bring 235 new jobs - Borgward, or rather Foton, wants to invest € 10 million over 260 years.

Until acquisition and conversion of the property have gone, the new Borgward headquarters in the City Gate at the main station can be found, report the Stuttgarter Nachrichten.

Who is Foton, who is behind Borgward? A look behind the scenes ... we meet old friends. Beiqi Foton Motor Co.Ltd. is owned by Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co.Ltd., which also includes BAIC Motors, which uses Saab technology to manufacture vehicles in China. The companies are linked to Daimler through a network of joint ventures and company shares, which explains the background in a nutshell.

Foton has been on the market since 1986, producing 1 million trucks a year, the largest commercial vehicle manufacturer in China. China Automotive Review sees Foton as the ideal partner for the Borgward Challenge. Strong, expansive, solid! Foton is ambitious and wants to become one of the top 10 manufacturers in the world. China has been licensing the new Borgwards since March; The first model will go on sale at the end of the year.

Borgward has vehicles ready for production.

Is there a trick accomplished? Unnoticed by the rest of the world, new models, more than one, have matured into production. In September, an SUV in the size of a Mercedes M-class will be at the IAA.

Who pulls the strings at Borgward? Not clear. The Trademarks are evidently owned by Beiqi Foton, from which one could conclude that Foton would be the force behind the comeback. Borgward, on the other hand, always describes Foton as one partner among many. And the question arises who will build the new Borgwards. Because Foton is a commercial vehicle manufacturer, has no experience in building cars.

A line published in the China Automotive Reviewhas it all. "An assembly plant is reportedly being built in Bremen, Borgward's original production base ”. Borgwards from Bremen? From Sebaldsbrück, which is still occupied by Daimler? That would be ... a sensation.

Perhaps (speculative!) Daimler is one of the partners in the Borgward project, screwing the label to a factory in Bremen and rolling new Daimler-based Borgwards off the assembly line. Some things can be so simple ...

In China, the comeback from week to week condenses, it seems substance behind it. It is a delicate mission anyway. Borgward starts at level 0, from the bottom up. It's going to be brutally tough.

If you think about the Borgward project, then you inevitably come to a question for which there can only be one answer. Why revive a brand that has been away from the market for ages?

The test at Easter, in the rather little car-affine circle of friends brings the scary truth: Borgward is dead. No one who does not screw on old cars, knows the mark. This is a bit scary and frustrating because I like the Borgward story.

Back to the question! Who takes so much money, and it has to be a lot, to revitalize a brand that has been off the market since 1961? The answer:

Someone who can. That calculates in decades, not years. Who has time to start over at the bottom, at level 0. Maybe we need such a caliber in Trollhättan?

22 thoughts on "View over the (Saab) Tellerrand"

  • The Emperor's New Clothes.

  • I'm torn here. It all sounds interesting and sounds good. But I'm kind of skeptical about where you want to take all the cars in such a short time.
    If you want to introduce a car at the end of the year and then want to add new models, then you have to have them in principle already in the test and the production with plants must then already be. Good China is big and possibly there is already produced but then to start in Europe immediately. I do not know. Surely the name is a household name in Germany but outside Germany I think Borgward is not that busy anymore.

    But let's be surprised, maybe they will conjure something out of their hats, which will surprise everyone. But after the last years with the ups and downs (Saab but also eg Qoros) I became rather skeptical.

    Greetings Ded2

  • Can one see so Albert. However, I think that 10 is doing years of preparatory work, he is serious. Scammers must be very good to still not be in jail after 10 years or to be on the run. Mr. Planless Jiang has not lasted 2 years until the bubble burst.

    • blank

      How about putting a few facts on the table instead of going to Stammtisch?

      NEVS in Sweden is undergoing reconstruction, this is a legal proceeding. The court has publicly stated that NEVS has provided documentation that is considered to be reputable, all documents and plans have been reviewed and approved. The overwhelming majority of creditors have also agreed. The union also supports the plans. Besides, the enterprise has always fulfilled all requirements of the court. (Statement of the court)
      Since it was believed that the company would inevitably go bankrupt if its plans became public, all persons involved in the reconstruction were required to maintain a written record of silence. A soap bubble looks different, or do you want to assume that the court is involved in Vänersborg, thus doing something in common with Kai Johann Jiang?

      The court may indeed be fooled, but the court's statement is an assessment based on a detailed examination and would have unpleasant consequences in case of an irregularity on the part of those involved.

      At Borgward and Co., there is nothing except soap bubbles and heaps of inconsistencies. This is a person behind the one has a more than dubious reputation in the industry. Not without reason are the reports in the business press very cautious.

      There is no reason for a company that is new to entering the market not to show any prototypes in advance. Only if you have nothing, you can not show anything. Fisker and Tesla have repeatedly presented selected prototypes their prototypes years in advance.

      Either there is nothing or the rice bowls are so modest that they are better hidden!

  • The Chinese learn faster than we like. With the Qoros built a really good car, which could beat in the crash test VW and Mercedes, but can not sell this car without image. The sales figures are alarmingly low, even in China. Now comes the second attempt, this time with history and functioning. In the press, the Borgward stand received more attention than the good results of the Qoro. All without a car. Congratulation!

  • The big bluff!
    A beverage retailer who happens to be a Borgward grandson *, a run-down manager and a designer who has worked for a short time in the automotive industry and has become self-employed due to a lack of employment.
    A great team!
    Except a lot of vortex you have nothing to show. Just in time for the grand entrance, asks the Chinese behind (Foton) at the mayor of Stuttgart, if he could buy parts of the listed former IBM headquarters for the Borgward head office.
    After that radio silence!
    No contacts, no negotiations and a helpless mayor Föll. Can you read everything.

    The timetable was well chosen, because in time for the grand tour appearance in Geneva, came in the Stuttgart press the right headline.
    Borgward takes over former IBM headquarters!
    So is the big scam!
    No one has to open his headquarters in a stuffy, but very expensive city in the age of the networked world. Just the hint that the suppliers are there makes me fall off my chair with laughter.

    Here is cheap Chinaware labeled as Borgward, the stupid consumers are turned on, nothing more.
    The performance is good, no question. Wedding swindlers do the same and Lieschen Müller gives full of joyous excitement her savings.

    Twice already Borgward was tried to restart, 1968 with the 230 GL and 1979 with the Borgward 23, no one was interested, then there was at least hardware in the form of mobile exhibition cars and then still lived former Borgwardfahrer, who are today in 10 years in the grave , And in China, nobody can pronounce Borgward, they knot their tongues and suffocate rather than speak it out.

    The Brothers Grimm had less imagination, how much simplicity a person needs in order not to doubt such statements “3 new models per year”. 800 cars from a standing start, unthinkable even in China. Where are all the buyers supposed to come from?

    Before, the trio sits in jail, or in the Caribbean, but millions of Borgward a year. , ,

    No matter what comes, what was promised does not come guaranteed.

    Maybe I should secure the trademark rights of glass or more suitable of Wendax, as fits the history. In addition, the Chinese can at least pronounce that, if the bowls, for lack of worldwide demand then but still in the land of the great Mao Zedong and his now so popular successor, must be sold.

    Yes, the human being wants to be cheated and he loves the very big swindlers, the honest and failed ones, who are laughed at and insulted, that should have been considered by Mr. Kai Johan Jiang of NEVS, he would be the star here now.

    Two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, but I'm not sure about the universe yet. "

    How right he is, our good Albert Einstein.

    * His father wrote a very good dissertation if he had read them and also those who believe in Borgward, they knew that something was wrong here.

    • blank

      Thanks Albert!
      Especially the section with the relabeled cheap goods speaks from my heart. In Italy you can already see what is planned, using the example of the textile industry: everything, from yarn production to garment, is 100% in Chinese hands, but European consumers are overjoyed to buy “Fatto intero in Italia”.

      Best regards

    • blank

      Pure reading pleasure!

      From time to time, the incredibly pronounced desire to believe in good and miracles must be countered by whimsical realism.

      What does Borgward 4.0 have to offer so far?

      And yet there is plenty of followers who praise the company's solid line-up and the lines of new Borgwards in the highest tones.

      The king's new clothes!

      • The king's new clothes!
        Yes, you can not describe it better.

  • blank

    Thanks Tom for thinking outside the box! Thanks 9-5 Aero for the precise comment. Just because I'm so fed up with mainstream automobiles, I'll take a very close look at the SUV and the other Borward models. More precisely than any NEVS carts from questionable backyard suppliers “made in a hurry” ...

  • From the point of view of the car enthusiasts I find this Borgward thing extremely exciting, also and precisely because of the possible parallels to SAAB. The men in the background of Borgward also seem to have a much more realistic estimate of the resource and time required than the NEVS people.

    Nevertheless, I am skeptical.

    I can recall that at the beginning of the 1980, there was a study on re-entry into the automotive business, prepared by NIDA (Northern Ireland Industrial Development Agency) to finance John DeLorean's current plans. Since the chances of survival of a new starter with state start-up support with 1: 9 or 1: 10 were quantified.

    First, there are the development costs. 260 million over 10 years for the headquarters in Stuttgart are probably realistic, but little compared to the development costs for the actual models. Here, Daimler might be able to help out for a start, supplying platforms or engines, but in the long term, it will have to take over its own departments.

    Then there is the market. The automotive mass market is already heavily occupied and essentially divided. A newcomer would have to gain market share with very aggressive marketing and discount methods, and at the same time can afford fewer losses than the “top dogs”.

    In addition, the purchase cycles are long (it is well known that you don't buy a new car every year), so the “start-up phase” until market shares are established can take several years. Will Foton last that long on its own? Or is Chinese politics going wrong again (you saw ...)?

    All in all, this remains an exciting story that I can continue to follow from the blog. As I said, I'm skeptical, but I would like to be surprised positively.

  • blank

    this blog is saab, not borgward

    • It is the freedom of the blogger to select topics. If readers are interested, and it does, why not.

    • blank

      As long as it does not become a BMW blog I am right, the view-over-the-plate topic is interesting.

    • blank

      If Borgward were indeed able to put something marketable on the wheels, that would definitely be more interesting to worlds than the years of caustic skirmishes over SAAB and their ignored customers.

    • Very nice, nice link ... Looks like a Borgward Grill 🙂

      • blank

        should the Swedes believe it would be a Jaguar?

        • Whether you are so creative to give the “Jag” a rhombus 😉 I don't think so.

  • Exactly, I think this is the only way to start a new beginning for SAAB, someone who can and wants to think far enough and has the necessary long-term capital to do so.
    These are certainly very different SAAB's as we know and love today, but that's the way it could be.

    • blank

      Who wants completely different SAAB automobiles than the last years?

      Not me!

      • Oh please, the NEVS Saabs are so Saabs as you imagine them? They were craft boxes ...

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