|Key people||Carl F. W. Borgward, founder|
Borgward was a German automobile manufacturer founded by Carl F. W. Borgward (November 10, 1890 - July 28, 1963). The company was based in Bremen, Germany. The Borgward group eventually produced cars with the four brands Borgward, Hansa, Goliath and Lloyd. The group ceased operations in 1961, following controversial insolvency proceedings.
The brand was revived in the 21st century, with the Stuttgart-based Borgward Group AG designing and marketing cars manufactured in China.
Origins of the component companies
The origins of the company go back to 1905 with the establishment in Varel (near Bremen) of Hansa Automobilgesellschaft and the foundation in Bremen itself of NAMAG, maker of the Lloyd car. These two businesses merged in 1914 to form the "Hansa-Lloyd-Werke A.G.". After the First World War, in the troubled economic situation then confronting Germany, the business failed to prosper and by the late 1920s faced bankruptcy. For Carl Borgward, already the successful creator of the Goliath-Blitzkarren business, the misfortunes of Hansa-Lloyd presented an opportunity to greatly expand the scope of his auto business, and he took control of it.
The first "automobile" Carl Borgward designed was the Blitzkarren (i.e. lightning cart), a sort of tiny three-wheeled van with only two horsepower (1.5 kW), which was, in the gap in the market it filled, an enormous success. Traders with a small budget bought it for delivery. The Reichspost ordered many of them for postal service.
In 1929 Borgward became the director of Hansa Lloyd AG and led the development of the Hansa Konsul. In February 1937 came the new Hansa Borgward 2000 and in 1939 the name was shortened to Borgward 2000. The 2000 model was followed by the Borgward 2300 that remained in production until 1942. After World War II the company presented the Borgward Hansa 1500. One of the top engineers at Borgward between 1938 and 1952 was Dipl. Ing. Hubert M. Meingast.
After World War II, in 1946 Carl Borgward used some of the brand names from businesses he had acquired over the years to found three separate companies: Borgward, Goliath and Lloyd. This was intended to increase the quantity of steel allocated to his business at a time of austerity and rationing. For many purposes the companies would be run as a single entity; but in a business operated by a man to whom delegation did not come naturally, the proliferation of legal entities nevertheless added unhelpful layers of complexity through the 1950s and encouraged a broadening of the range which in the end proved financially unsustainable with the sales volumes achievable. In 1949 company presented the Borgward Hansa 1500.
One of the top engineers at Borgward from 1938-1952 was Dipl. Ing. Hubert M. Meingast.
Isabella and P100
Production of the Borgward Isabella began in 1954. The Isabella would become Borgward's most popular model and remained in production for the life of the company. In 1959 the Borgward P100 was introduced, with its impressive pneumatic suspension.
Borgward introduced a line of 1500 cc sports racers in the late 1950s, with the 16-valve engine from these becoming a successful Formula Two power unit (which was also used by some F1 privateers in 1961).
Financial problems appeared because Carl Borgward allowed the different makes to act independently, practicing no joint development or sharing of parts. While Borgward pioneered technical novelties in the German market such as air suspension and automatic transmission, the four makes competed against companies like Opel and VW that increased production yearly and lowered prices. Borgward suffered quality problems as well. The Lloyd Arabella was technically advanced as a water-cooled boxer with front wheel drive, but plagued with problems such as water leakage and gearbox glitches. Although Lloyd lost money on the car it was more expensive than the direct competitors.
In 1961 the company was forced into liquidation by creditors though Carl Borgward insisted the company was solvent. Events proved him right and all the creditors were fully paid off. In 1963 all manufacturing equipment for the Borgward Isabella and P100 was sold to Mexico. In July 1963 Carl Borgward died, two years after his company went bankrupt.
The German magazine Der Spiegel reports in 1965 that, with a little help, the Borgward company could have easily overcome its problems in 1961. Apparently the company didn't have to go bankrupt at all.
Production in Argentina
Borgward Argentina was founded in 1954 as a joint venture of Carl F. Borgward HMBH and IAME (Aeronautics and Mechanical Industries) intended to equip the Rastrojero, a small pickup truck. The engine was manufactured at the plant that Borgward had in the town of Isidro Casanova, Buenos Aires province, at a production rate of 20 units per day with almost 800 employees. The production of Borgward Isabella was carried out in Cordoba, by using Argentine engines, local components (glass, batteries, tires) and other pieces from Germany. This model production started in 1960 at the booming of Argentina automotive industry development, with a production plan of 500 units for that year.
When the German parent company closed its doors in 1961, the operation happened to have local control, and continued for a short time to complete the total manufacture of 1,050 cars during its short life in Argentine territory.
Production in Mexico
As part of the bankruptcy process, in 1963, all manufacturing equipment for the Borgward Isabella and P100 was sold to a buyer in Monterrey, Mexico. Production in Mexico was delayed, but was started in August 1967 by entrepreneur Gregorio Ramirez Gonzalez. Production in Mexico ceased in 1970.
- Main article: Borgward Group
In 2008, the Borgward Group AG was formed in Lucerne by Christian Borgward (grandson of Carl F. W. Borgward) and Karlheinz L. Knöss. The new company later moved to Stuttgart. With both investment and manufacture by Beiqi Foton Motor (a subsidiary of BAIC, a major Chinese automotive group), the Borgward group had started to sell SUVs by January 2017.
- Borgward 2000
- Borgward 2300
- Borgward Hansa 1500
- Borgward Hansa 1800
- Borgward Hansa 1800 D
- Borgward Hansa 2400
- Borgward Isabella
- Borgward P100
- Borgward 230
- Borgward B 611
- Borgward B 622
- Borgward B 655
- Borgward B 1000
- Borgward B 1000Z
- Borgward B 1250
- Borgward B 1500
- Borgward B 1500F
- Borgward B 2000
- Borgward B 2500
- Borgward B 3000
- Borgward B 4000
- Borgward B 4500
- Borgward B 522
- Borgward B 533
- Borgward B 544
- Borgward B 555
- Oswald, Werner (2001). Deutsche Autos 1945-1990, volume 4 (in German). Motorbuch Verlag, 424. ISBN 3-613-02131-5.
- Ulf Kaack (2012). Minimalismus auf vier Rädern. GeraMond Verlag, München, 76. ISBN 978-3-86245-667-3.
- Ulf Kaack (2012). Der Konkurs - Untergang des bremischen Automobilimperiums. GeraMond Verlag, München, 17–19. ISBN 978-3-86245-667-3.
- Ulf Kaack (2012). Traum-Pkw und robuste Lkw. GeraMond Verlag, München, 23–25, 27. ISBN 978-3-86245-667-3.
- History of Borgward
- "Borgward Factory Argentina". Borgward.uk. Retrieved on 2010-06-12.
- "News and views: Borgward in Mexico", Autocar 127 (nbr 3732): 52. 24 August 1967.
- "Brief Borgward History". Borgwardisabella.com. Archived from the original on 2010-03-23. Retrieved on 2010-06-12.
- Borgward Drivers Club UK
- Borgward Interessengemeinschaft Essen (in English)
- Borgward Club of Australia
- Dipl. Ing. Hubert M. Meingast - (Borgward Engineer and Research Scientist) (in English)
- Interactive Panorama from inside a Borgward Isabella
- Interactive Panorama from inside a Hansa 1100
- Interactive Panorama from inside a Lloyd
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