The Borgward Saab story

Some myths disenchant themselves ... and then you regret knowing the background. Because the story was actually too beautiful. The Borgward Reborn Story will be one of them. It's easy to tell, but you still hold your breath. Borgward's first model is the BX7, a larger SUV that will be shown in its final version at the Beijing Auto Show in April 2016.

Borgward BX7
Borgward BX7

Shortly afterwards, the BX7 will go on sale, coming to Europe in 2017. In the same year Borgward will show the BX5, then the BX3. Chinese media, especially Car News China, report that it should stay that way, nothing more is planned. At the start, only SUVs from Borgward, which makes sense in a booming market. What more Car News China has to say is far more exciting.

The surprise: The Borgward BX7 is not a new development, it is not even an independent model. The Borgova body is the Senova X65, and at the latest now we are listening. Senova is the brand under which BAIC markets Saab DNA. Again, for your understanding ... for readers who are not so familiar with the Borgward topic. The Borgward brand is 100% owned by Foton Motors, a major producer of commercial vehicles in China. Foton, in turn, is owned by the Beijing Automotive Corporation (BAIC), which is owned by the Chinese state.

The BX7 differs from the Senova X65 with a new front - everything else is identical. That says Car News China, and a photo comparison of both vehicles confirms the claim. From the A pillar, the BX7 is an X65, which even GM could have done with more commitment. The new Borgward just a bluff? In parts - yes. Trying to make a China car tasty to Europeans under an old traditional label. Myths are so easy to disenchant ... and yet not.

The Senova X65 is based on the mysterious Matrix platform. The origin was unclear at the beginning, but it comes originally from Sweden. More precisely, from Trollhättan. Matrix is ​​a BAIC advancement of the Saab 9-3 (440) platform, whose rights the Chinese 2009 acquired. Saab DNA in a Borgward, who would have expected it. And that too at the discount price. In China, the X65 is available from 17.500 €, the fight prices of the Borgwards can be calculated.

The future Borgward family will also be based on Senova vehicles. The Borgward BX5 on the Senova X55, the BX3 on the upcoming Senova X35. The Borgward comeback - these are not billions that are invested, but a courageous grip on the Chinese corporate shelf. The story of the great rebirth of an old brand is put into perspective against this background. It also explains why the BX7 is what it is, and why ex-Saab designer Hareide delivered a product atypical for its style. The basis is given, no blank sheet of paper at the beginning. Against this background, a respectable result from Hareide.

Has the brand Borgward, once a technical pioneer, earned it? Or would you rather have them rested in peace? Of course, an older Saab platform is not a bad basis for a new start. Intelligently developed, Senova and Borgward SUVs could be on par with the competition. And yet all this is a pity, disappointing and gives a bad taste.

Because actually I like this Reborn story of a big, old brand. I have always followed her with sympathy. Maybe because I finally wanted to see one of these stories crowned with success. Maybe they just do not exist anymore, the automotive wonders. Really regrettable.

21 thoughts on "The Borgward Saab story"

  • Even if the information leaves a threadbare taste, the topic remains exciting. Does Borgward have the right product? Is it right in the market? Is this actually a gap in the market that Borgward can use? Does Borgward even have a chance against the established competition? The future will show.
    The car has to set itself apart from the competition in some way. The catchphrase is "Accessible Premium". Sounds like a lot of features at a low price to me. That could work.
    Another thing worries me: I've seen for myself how bodies are crumpled up in China. The rust prevention is miserable. Gaps beyond good and evil. As the cars are sourced from an OEM Borgward has to pay more attention to the quality. China standard is not enough for a European customer. I would be very interested in how the X65 cuts off at this point. Does anyone have reviews?
    Maybe that's why Borgward gets more time for the European launch.

  • I do not know, such cars are on every corner, they are called something with Q or Tiguan or Kuga or what I know how. Does that still need?

    • Borgward wants to head towards Dacia, only better equipped. I think that there is a market for it. Tiguan, Kuga and Co. play in a different class. The design may be arbitrary and does not stand out from the crowd like a SAAB. For a designer it must be hell to design a car under these conditions. He has to develop a guy that pleases everyone and is bound by a number of constraints. But he has become quite passable, I think. If quality, safety and price are right he will find his buyers. Dacia has finally conquered a piece of the market.

      • It will go in this direction, the confirmed involvement of ATU is a signal for it. A German brand name is only an advantage.

        • I don't think that it is intended to aim at Dacia level with Borgward. And if that were so, I think the Borgwardenkel should have left the matter. It's a shame, it sounded pretty good at first, but the more you learn how the Borgward comeback is supposed to go, the more horror you get. Old Saab technology (it's still possible to this point) is warmed up in some rice cooker in China, given a once good, proud name, whose tradition has absolutely nothing to do with this Chinese pile of screws, is then probably sold over the Internet and ATU does the service. If things look like that, you'd better let the Borgward brand rest with dignity. When I hear something like that, I don't need to worry about the Borgward comeback.

          • The Borgward grandson is just not a technician. He hopes that the business will go so well that it will then be possible to develop independent models. So far, however, it looks like a stillbirth to me. It lacks a bit of kick, the element of madness that Borgwards may need to distinguish. You could have really derived from the 9-3 platform also an Isabella-like slim coupe. That's a current market gap. The Scirocco does not really bring that.

            • It is really a pity that the tension is gone. Or better: the illusion. I've been thinking for a long time about whether the article should even go online. The Borgward people have made a lot of marketing so much right, because you regret it almost to write about the background.

  • Yes, the Borgward is more beautiful than the Senova, but what really matters: how does the box drive? And is it the NCAP?
    After the disaster with the BS6 and the Landwind I still believe in it.

    • Logically he is more beautiful. The pictures are also from the show car at the IAA. According to Aubi, the vehicle was crewed by hand at the last minute. Gave a big story about it. The series will probably be a bit miserable.

      • I can justify that. The Sonova has at the height of the door handles one of those unspeakable folds that today's cars must have to look aggressive, or was that tuberculosis (?). She's gone at the Borgward. That's why he likes me better. The other is detail return, but all of them also improve the flow of the shape.

  • After a close look at the pictures from the outside: But there are already some differences, and the Borgward looks much better.

  • All on the China Trip

    • The current Borgward pictures of the interior should (allegedly) not yet correspond to the series. That was told in Frankfurt (IAA).

    • The steering wheel looks like the 9-5NG

      • This steering wheel style can now be found in many cars, including from China. Apparently there is a manufacturer who produces this type in innumerable variations.

    • Well, I don't think both interiors are that bad - Senova has a little something from VW ...

  • Interior? After all, you run 20 seconds on a car, but sitting in it for hours. If something independent was created here, something European or Scandinavian, would that be something ?!

  • That's the world. The Borgward is just a magic hat to finally bring China cars to Europe. By the way, ATU should take over the service, says a lot about the strategy. Mercilessly cheap, a challenge to Opel, Ford and friends.

  • But that was not to be expected from a Chinese company. Here, as with Kreidler, Zündapp etc., the "tradition" is only cultivated in the name and not in a corresponding product. Innovation and technical engineering do not come from copy & paste.

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