Germans can’t revive historic Borgward brandAugust 25, 2020
European operations to revive the Deutsche Mark appear to have been phased out due to low sales and concerns from the Chinese parent company. The resurgent brand ran into trouble after Foton sold a 67% stake in Ucar for $ 614 million in 2019.
The long-promised resurgence of the historic German brand Borgward in Europe appears to have been put on hold as the China-backed firm has phased out its market presence. Ucar’s use of the Borgward BX5 and BX7 SUVs for its mobile services in China initially contributed to the brand’s decline in sales, but the pioneering retail model has further impeded wider adoption.
Borgward sold just 5,000 vehicles in the first half of 2020 and faced further uncertainty as Ucar shareholder Charles Zhengyao Lu became involved in a financial scandal, according to a foreign publication.
Borgward’s only European outpost – in Luxembourg – still sells the brand’s models and seems pleased with the results. It is reported that since mid-2018, the dealership has sold more than 100 BX5 and BX7 models for 36,200 euros and 44,200 euros, respectively. There is no sign of Borgward planning to leave Europe, managers said, although the end figures fell short of the brand’s original plans to sell 800,000 units worldwide by 2020.
In late 2018, it was revealed that Borgward will introduce its SUVs to the UK and Irish markets next year, partnering with Birmingham-based importer International Motors. There have been no official updates to this plan over the past 20 months, and the brand appears to have lost its European headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany. The latest news update on the brand’s European website dates from December 14, 2018, and the BXi7 electric SUV appears to be no closer to launch than it was when it debuted in 2017.
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