Borgward plans SUV sales in the UK, Ireland next year

November 27, 2018 06:01 CET

Borgward will begin sales of its SUVs in the UK and Ireland at the end of next year, the brand’s new importer has said.

The Chinese-owned brand started selling the larger of its two SUVs, the gasoline-powered BX7, in Germany in July. The BX7 is pitched as an upscale car to rival SUVs such as the Audi Q5 and BMW X3.

Borgward will sell the BX7 and the smaller BX5 in the UK and Ireland, the importer, IM Group, said.

Borgward was revived in 2016, 55 years after the last models were made in Germany, with money from China’s Foton Motor, a truck subsidiary of state-owned Chinese automaker BAIC Group, who acquired the rights to the brand in 2014. The cars are assembled at Foton’s plant in Miyun, a suburb of Beijing.

Recent losses, however, have pushed Foton into offering a 67 percent stake in the brand to outside investors.

Borgward intends to produce electric versions of the two SUVs, badged the BXi7 and BXi5. Right-hand drive production of its vehicles will also start in early 2019, Borgward said.

Borgward said in 2016 it planned a factory in the German city of Bremen with a capacity to produce 10,000 BXi7 SUVs annually from semi-knocked-down kits, starting this year. Construction of the plant has not yet begun.

In May this year, Borgward appointed Philip Koehn, former director of engineering at Rolls-Royce, as its chief technology officer.

IM Group also imports Subaru and Isuzu vehicles into the UK and Ireland.

IM Group said production of right-hand drive variants is expected to start in early next year in anticipation of a UK market launch toward the end of 2019. Price and specification will be announced closer to the time, it said.

You can reach Nick Gibbs at ngibbs@crain.com.

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