Borgward, a historic car brand of German heritage that had been resurrected in China in 2015 is now dead for the second time. The automaker filed for bankruptcy in Chinese courts after failing to attract customer interest during its short-lived revival and is now looking to liquidate its assets.
The automaker was founded in Bremen, Germany in 1890. It produced cars with the Borgward, Hansa, Goliath, and Lloyd badges, becoming Germany’s third-largest automaker. Its first era ended in 1961, when it was forced into liquidation for the first time.
A new chapter for Borgward started in 2014 when rights for the use of its name were acquired by Chinese truck maker Beiqi Foton Motor, a member of the state-owned BAIC Group. Between 2015 and 2019, the new Borgward unveiled four ICE-powered SUVs (BX3, BX5, BX6, BX7) and a single electric model (BXi7), all produced in China by Foton. It also wanted to open a factory in its hometown Bremen, Germany in 2019, but plans never materialized as the European launch didn’t go as well as expected.
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Borgward’s best year was 2019 with a peak of 55,000 sales globally, before plummeting to a pitiful 3,600 units in 2021. Slow sales resulted in massive losses of more than ¥4 billion ($574 million) between 2016 and 2018, and another ¥4.7 billion ($675 million) in 2021 alone.
As reported by Autonews Europe, Borgward was declared bankrupt by the First Intermediate People’s Court of Beijing last Wednesday. The automaker is now expecting court approval to liquidate its assets which means that other companies could benefit from the technology, design, and production equipment of the failed brand.
Interestingly, Borgward’s official website is still online, so you can have a last look at its models before they end up on the back pages of history books. In terms of social media presence, the last post on Facebook was published four years ago, showing that administrators weren’t really optimistic about the future.