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  Borgward will begin German assembly of an electric BX7 SUV in 2018.
Borgward plans to assemble EVs in Germany
Automotive News Europe | 2016/11/1

FRANKFURT -- Borgward, a storied German brand undergoing a revival with Chinese backing, plans to open a factory in Germany to build 10,000 cars a year.

The company, once Germany's third-biggest automaker, is returning to its former home in Bremen where it plans to build its BX7 electric car from semi-knockdown kits 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. The Bremerhaven port is nearby, skilled workers are available and strong suppliers are there, the company said.

Continental AG, Kuka AG, Schaeffler Group, SKF AB, BorgWarner Inc., Webasto and Robert Bosch GmbH will "play a major role" in the assembly of its EVs in Germany, the company said. Batteries will be supplied by LG Electronics. 

Borgward builds the BX7 -- equipped with gasoline engines -- in Miyun near Beijing. The German plant will be its first factory outside China. The automaker first will roll out the BX7 EV, followed by electric and plug-in-hybrid variants of the BX6 and BX5 SUVs. 

An exact location for the plant will be decided in the coming weeks. 

Borgward collapsed in 1961 after building 1.2 million Borgward, Lloyd, and Goliath vehicles in Bremen. The company's revival is funded by state-owned Chinese truckmaker Beiqi Foton.

Borgward has hired executives including Walker, a former Daimler boss in Asia, from Western automakers.

Borgward will sell only electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in Europe -- a strategy similar to Lynk & CO, which plans to sell cars in Europe developed with Volvo. Lynk is targeting Germany as its main European market.

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