Borgward promotes former purchasing boss to CEO

December 3, 2018 15:07 CET

Revived German brand Borgward Group has appointed Xiuzhan Zhu as CEO after his predecessor lasted just four months in the job.

Zhu replaces former Rolls-Royce executive Philip Koehn, who was appointed chief technology office in May this year and promoted to CEO in July. Zhu, 50, took over the position on November 6. Koehn has left Borgward, the company said.

The Chinese-backed company revived the old German automotive brand in 2014 and began selling SUVs in China from 2016 and in Germany from July this year. Recent losses however have led to parent company Beiqi Foton Motor offering a 67 percent stake in the brand to outside investors.

Zhu joined Borgward as head of purchasing and strategic projects when the German arm of the company was started in 2015. Prior that he worked as China manager for German supplier SumiRiko AVS, formerly Anvis Group, a maker of automotive anti-vibration technology. He has previously worked for DaimlerChrysler, which included roles in Chinese business development.

In Germany, Borgward sells the gasoline powered BX7 SUV as a premium rival to the Audi Q5 and BMW X3. Borgwards were last sold in Germany in 1961.

Borgwards will also be sold in the UK starting late next year, import firm IM Group announced in November.

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

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