Borgward sales falls considerably short of 800k target, faces difficulties with its European reintroduction

The historic German auto brand Borgward is apparently having difficulties with its reintroduction to the European market. According to German publication Automobilwoche, these uncertainties come after Beiqi Foton Motor (subsidiary of BAIC) sold its 67% majority stake to Ucar, a Chinese ride-hailing and car-rental company, in 2019.

While Ucar’s use of the Borgward BX5 and BX7 had initially bolstered sales for the struggling automaker, the ride-hailing firm is apparently lacking an innovative retail model that would further drive the take-up rate of the SUVs.

At the same time, Ucar billionaire shareholder Charles Zhengyao Lu – also founder of a massive coffee chain in China called Luckin Coffee – is currently being investigated for an accountancy fraud (it inflated its 2019 net revenues and boosted costs and expenses by billions of yuan).

The report also revealed that Borgward only sold 5,000 cars in the first half of 2020, and its sole presence in Europe is in Luxembourg. Borgward also doesn’t appear to be maintaining its headquarters in Stuttgart, while the most recent news update on its European website is from December 14, 2018.

On the production front, Borgward initially planned to open a bespoke factory in Bremen, Germany, but its reservation on the 140,000 sq metre site had lapsed in June 2019. Remember the BXi7 electric SUV? Well, that project also seems to have been abandoned, for now at least.

On the other hand, AndrĂ© Lacerda, a Borgward salesman in Luxembourg said “we are very satisfied with the business,” but the dealership reportedly only sold over 100 models since mid-2018. The BX5 and BX7 models are still being offered at 36,200 euros (RM178k) and 44,200 euros (RM217k) respectively.

Borgward had initially set a goal of selling 800,000 cars globally by 2020, but it’s clear it has fallen considerably short of that target. However, Lacerda stressed that there is no plans for Borgward to withdraw from the European market.

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