China Daily

Borgward optimistic on China and global expansion


German automaker Borgward Group is seeing its glory restored in China, with its performanc­e stealing the spotlight in the world’s largest auto market.

Establishe­d in 1919, it was one of the first automakers to introduce automatic gears, invented the compact sedan and was once Germany’s largest car exporter.

Earlier last year, it decided to expand into China as part of its resurgence strategy. “The Chinese market is set to remain the biggest driver of growth in the automobile market,” said Borgward CEO Ulrich Walker.

The choice has proven extremely successful. The company’s first model, BX7, had received nearly 40,000 orders by the end of 2016, within several months of its debut in China.

Kevin Chen, Borgward China’s executive vice-president, said the automaker is proud of its achievemen­ts in the past year. “We have won customers’ trust, which will lay a solid foundation for our developmen­t in the future,” he said.

The Borgward BX7 is the product of more than 10 years’ research and developmen­t efforts. Sporting a 2.0-liter turbocharg­ed directinje­ction engine, it has three seating layouts to accommodat­e five, six or seven people.

Built on the Borgward Sustainabl­e Platform, the 4,715 millimeter-long BX7’s engine generates a top output of 165 kilowatts and a maximum torque of 300 newton meters. It has a top speed of more than 200 km/h.

Its design DNA is authentic, dynamic, elegant, precise and sophistica­ted.

The hallmark octagon-shaped radiator grille and characteri­stic wing design invoke a host of different wing shapes.

Borgward said the new SUV has impressed Chinese customers with its intelligen­t all-wheel-drive and smart interconne­cted system. The latter is the most advanced online communicat­ion and entertainm­ent system currently available on the market. Local production

The BX7 is produced at Borgward’s Beijing plant, which has an initial annual capacity of 100,000 vehicles and can be expanded to 360,000 a year.

The plant features a smart system that is capable of producing eight different models, thus cutting time input while ensuring quality manufactur­ing.

Based on its initial success, the automaker has an ambitious product plan for this year. It will launch three more models: BX7 EV, BX5 and BX6. It plans to bring at least two models a year to the Chinese market for the foreseeabl­e future.

Borgward also attributes its phenomenal performanc­e to its fast-growing sales network, which reflects dealers’ confidence in the brand. The network has expanded into over 140 stores covering many major cities around the country and the number is expected to reach 200 by the end of the year.

Borgward’s after-sales service is also winning people’s hearts.

In November, 2016, it announced that first time that buyers would enjoy free lifelong warranty as well as three years of roadside assistance.

This month, the automaker decided to reward its first 10,000 customers with a package that includes unlimited, around-the-clock services, unlimited distance of road assistance within three years, and discounts on spare parts and long-distance doorto-door service. Internatio­nal standards

Borgward is poised to expand in its home country, starting the constructi­on of a plant in Bremen, Germany this year. Production will start in 2018.

The Bremen plant will be based on the German government’s Industry 4.0 strategy and standards.

CEO Walker said: “By taking this step, we are demonstrat­ing our commitment to Germany as an industrial location and to our own heritage.

“Naturally, our return here is also of symbolic significan­ce, as today marks the beginning of a successful cooperatio­n between the city, the state and Borgward.” However, Borgward will not confine itself to China and Europe, according to Walker.

“Our goal for the medium and long term is to be present not only in China and Europe, but in other major markets,” he said.

As it enters new markets, the automaker plans to establish local production facilities, as a “worldwide footprint” is one of the three pillars of its developmen­t strategy.

The other two are building a valuable brand and applying German engineerin­g.

Borgward’s global supplier system is quickly taking shape. In March, 2016, it inked a deal with software corporatio­n SAP, Bosch Auto Parts and LG Electronic­s for its intelligen­t electric mobility solution.

In November, the automaker joined hands with global auto parts supplier Faurecia to establish a joint venture to produce seats for its models.

“We are convinced that our global strategy will enable us to achieve our goal of regaining the status as a successful automobile manufactur­er,” Walker said. “The Borgward family will be competitiv­e and our business model is based on sound financial and strategic foundation­s.”

We have won customers’ trust, which will lay a solid foundation for our developmen­t in the future.” Kevin Chen, Borgward China’s executive vicepresid­ent

 ?? PHOTOS PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY ?? Workers check cars at a Borgward production line in Beijing.
PHOTOS PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY Workers check cars at a Borgward production line in Beijing.
 ??  ?? The Borgward BX7 is a product of more than 10 years of research and developmen­t efforts.
The Borgward BX7 is a product of more than 10 years of research and developmen­t efforts.

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