Borgward lives

The summer slump is on its way, and this year it seems particularly extensive. Marcus and Manuela report daily from the IntSaab in Norway, and today I am daring a trip to another brand. Which is also worth reading if you go through life with Saab glasses. I had promised the readers not to lose sight of the Borgward topic and during the holidays I approached the brand through specialist literature. Also - yes, watch out! - the first new Borgward is here. At least partially…

Borgward lives. Really.
Borgward lives. Really.

Let's talk about literature first! I am too young to experience the vehicles with the Rombus as new cars. The drama about the Bremen company therefore largely passed me by. Reason to take a closer look ...

For friends of the well-kept automotive literature and for conspiracy theorists, who should also exist in the Saab environment, there is a “what-if” novel on my table ... which one could have written something similar about the brand from Trollhättan. "Borgward lives ” von Andreas A. Berse transfers the brand into the present and builds on the fact that the group would not have gone bankrupt in 1961, but would have survived as an innovative car maker and with the help of Chancellor Adenauer. Brese is a motor journalist, the novel was published in 2006; so it has little to do with current events.

The story is absolutely exciting in places and full of speed, which the author unfortunately cannot keep up. Again and again there are passages that seem very constructed and tenacious - and where the story then sags sharply. The reader feels the impulse to skip a few pages. Nevertheless: Borgward lives on in the book, Borgward defends itself against industrial espionage and sabotage - and remains innovative. A story - too good to be true, which is why it is only fiction and not reality.

An unusual book on a fringe group theme, suitable for reading on the beach and for readers with gasoline in their blood. Anyone who has a little interest in Borgward and German car culture, is not wrong here.

Borgward specialist literature
Borgward specialist literature

Borgward DNA - or can you preserve a brand?

While the book by Brese is pure fiction, served Peter Short Background knowledge. The man seems to live Borgward; In addition to literature, he discovered a virtual Borgward Museum. In his publishing house, there are books from the last big Borgward, the first luxury class car with air suspension, to discover the direct-injection pioneer Goliath Sport. The books are lovingly made, with many contemporary illustrations. Short writes well, but the topic is very specific. You should really be interested in Borgward or have roots in Bremen to find that entertaining.

Nevertheless, what Borgward stood for does not reveal itself to me even now. Perplexity! There were some models with an extremely pleasing design, there were technical highlights. But every manufacturer had that back then. Every 2-stroke Saab has more to tell. Saab came out of the plane corner, which you can see on the 92, 93 and 96. And some details were so mercilessly ingenious and subordinate to aerodynamics that one is still amazed today.

The Borgward group was, in my opinion, a large general store of the economic miracle. The special story behind it, as Saab has them, I search in vain. Borgward products were not exceptional vehicles as they came from Saab, but fashionable mass-produced goods. During the boom period of the old republic, they rushed to the market, reserves and risk provisions were frowned upon. A Bremer Patriarch led the fast-growing company in an outdated form in the first sales weakness in the downfall. Point, told.

So Borgward was not alone, the German economy has experienced many borgwards. Or is the bankruptcy itself, which came prematurely about the company, the key to Borgward legend? Probably.

In any case, my grandfather, from whom I inherited my passion for cars, had his garages full of Mercedes, Peugeots and BMWs. Never Borgward, not even close. He must have known why.

Borgward in the present

From the literature it goes into the present. Announcements have followed actions. Borgward 2.0, the new birth of a German brand, has opened the provisional headquarters in the newly built Stuttgart City Gate. 1.000 square meters will provide space for 100 employees, and other 50 employees and engineers will find their offices at a second location in the Böblingen district. The original plans for the former IBM site are not yet off the table; further discussions are to be led to it.

And there's more news, but I'd rather write about Saab than about Borgward. But the times for Saab bloggers are not good, so we're filling the summer hole with the Borgward comeback.

Borgward SUV - first look via Twitter
Borgward SUV - first look via Twitter

Two weeks ago, a surprise, the Borgward SUV rear end went through the digital galaxy via Twitter. The first car is served in small doses and everything has been done right so far. Respect! Borgward lives and provides proof that at least one Borgward lettering and the rear of the brand's first SUV exist. What not everyone wanted to believe months ago ...

Exciting for us: Borgward Design comes from Einar Hareide, who in recent times was responsible for Saab and the 900 II. The successful tail of the 900 II, which transported Saab Design into GM time, is one of his works. Interesting for that reason alone is what is hidden under the cover. Can Hareide still conjure up a shot of Saab in the new Borgward? It will not be long before we know it. At the IAA 2015 we will be able to see the result.

15 thoughts on "Borgward lives"

  • Borgwards do not even come to Europe. First China and fast-growing emerging markets like India. Then, someday, Germany.

  • Which factory should the Borgward models for the European market actually come from - is anything more known here?

    Hopefully, Jiang and his troop will not offer themselves - this would additionally hinder the start of new SAAB models (of course only if comparable series are at Borgward's start).

  • It's remarkable what the Borgward team did right…. but ultimately the new product will be decisive and not the previous marketing work.
    And I am skeptical whether the China Borgward can convince qualitatively and technically ...

  • The article is interesting for me because I already had similar thoughts about another company in my head. The Borgward bankruptcy has been over 50 years ago. How many years people think about Saab in 40 / 50? Whether they then tap what Saab stood for?

  • No NEVS NEWS. In the old Saab tradition, you can enjoy the Swedish summer vacation. It will be interesting in the fall when NEVS presents its business plan. Whether the Saab story is over by then or whether there is a comeback - we'll see!

  • Genius and madness plus drop height?
    The Borgward case was unusual because Borgward, as I've just seen, was partly the third largest German manufacturer. So that would be as if today Opel went broke. Added to this was the individual fate with the ingenious, but economically ignorant boss, which leads to a good overall story, I suspect.

  • It may be that Jaguar does a lot right, at least for its customers. Inwiweit that agree with the Saab customers, I can not say. the XF has the size of a 9-3 inside, with tiny windows, the dimensions of a luxury vehicle (parking lots?), and all this for the price of an 9-5.

    The F-Type seems to arrive well, but compared to the E-Type, the box is kitsch and disproportionate.

  • Nice story. Written nicely. Let's see if we suddenly experience a new resurrection of SAAB in 10 years?
    Best regards
    Walter from Switzerland

  • I can only agree with some: I really like what Jaguar is doing right now. The upcoming F-Pace is really nice too! Unfortunately, Volvo's current XC90 design can't move me too much, but the brand is more alive than ever.

    One thing is missing, however ... Saab? Where's Saab? As just mentioned, Jaguar does a lot of things right, but Saab had that certain something. I don't quite find myself in an Englishman.

    @There are NEVS NEWS?

  • There are currently some niche providers in the automotive sector such as Jaguar do the many things right. Unfortunately belongs to NEVS in, they will crash crashing.
    Can PM connect me to Volvo only, not so long ago, they were also about to go bankrupt.
    Hats off !!!

  • Borgward makes many things right, whether it will be a success, of course, has yet to show. I wish the makers, an alternative is always good! But I do not like the company emblem, haha, I know, but that's it! No, no! As long as Saab can not deliver, what is in the garage is maintained and then it is for me to Volvo! Find just great what's going on there.

  • I can not do much with the old Borgward. Although I first grew up in the Bremen corner, I can not consciously remember a meeting.
    A car from China is out of the question for me, I have enough work to do with Chinaschr….

    Only the design would interest me too. China is probably the last market where design greats can let off steam for a while. This is obviously over in Europe.
    The days I read an article from the sale Giugiaros company to VW and not for economic reasons. Rough tenor of the article was that GG probably has no more desire, because the calculating artists of the auto industry, the designers narrow more and more. The result can be seen on the streets.

  • Perhaps the NEVS team should be sent to the new Borgward for apprenticeships. I am happy to hear this news, to be honest, especially after some Goliath were poured dirt over the new founders after your last articles about Borgward ...

  • No, far from it. I should really like what Hareide drew. The article is “The joy of writing” and an interest in what a former Saab designer, whose work I appreciate, makes the Borgward new start.

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