Borgward to Build New EV Factory in Germany

Chinese-backed Borgward, once Germany’s third-largest automaker, is planning to open an electric vehicle factory in Germany to build 10,000 cars a year.

Currently headquartered in Stuttgart, the company is returning to its former home, the north German city of Bremen, where it aims to assemble its electric BX7 seven-seat luxury SUV from semi knocked-down components shipped over from its main factory in China.

Work on the new facility is due to start in 2017, with intentions to start vehicle production in 2018.

“Production will be designed to be flexible and organized in such a way that we can adjust — and thus increase — production output and the number of models,” Borgward CEO Ulrich Walker said in a statement.

Borgward said it was not just the “emotional argument” that has attracted it to its former home.

It cited good logistics’ connection to Bremen’s busy port of Bremerhaven, the availability of skilled labor and the regions high-quality parts suppliers as reasons for the decision.

The automaker said suppliers including Continental, Kuka, Schaeffler, SKF, BorgWarner, Webasto, and Robert Bosch will “play a major role” in the future assembly of its EVs in Germany.

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Batteries will be supplied by LG Electronics, the company said.

Further down the road, the plant will build the smaller BX5 SUV that will be offered as both a plug-in gasoline-electric hybrid and electric model.

Borgward is backed state-owned Chinese truckmaker Beiqi Foton, a subsidiary of the Beijing Automotive Industry Corporation (BAIC).

Borgward currently builds combustion-engine variants of the BX7 in Miyun near Beijing, as well as a plug-in hybrid version, both of which are sold in China.

The original Borgward German automotive company produced around 1.2 million Borgward, Lloyd, and Goliath brand vehicles from the 1920s until it went bankrupt in 1961.