The revitalized vehicle manufacturer Borgward has a new owner: The Chinese start-up Ucar will take over 67% of shares from the previous owner Foton. Now they will decide on the possible return of the car brand to Bremen.
The production of the all-electric BXi7 was supposed to start in the Hanseatic city of Bremen this year. But plans came to a standstill again and again. By the end of 2017, the former owner Foton was already looking for new investors and the first speculations regarding a complete sale of the brand started appearing. Last September, Foton then publicly questioned the return of the car brand to Bremen for the first time. The reasons given by a company spokesman included the trade dispute between China, the USA and Europe, as well as personnel changes in the management levels of investors and car manufacturers. In addition, the search for an additional investor had not yet been completed.
Now, according to the Bremen-based local newspaper Weser-Kurier, the 67 per cent of the shares of the previous owner Foton will be taken over by the Chinese mobility startup Ucar for around 500 million euros. It is not yet clear what influence the takeover will have on Borgward’s plans for a plant in Bremen, as the new owner will have to agree to it first.
The startup Ucar is an up-and-coming brand in the Chinese mobility market, currently offering driving services, among other things. However, the service is aimed at higher earners, unlike many new electric mobility services aimed at the broader public. What exactly the startup plans to do with Borgward is not known yet.
With the takeover, Bruno Lambert was also chosen as the new Borgward boss. Among other positions, the manager had previously worked for the automotive supplier Magna Steyr for more than eleven years as head of the Asian business unit. Most recently, he was head of the start-up company Iconiq Motors, which plans to launch an electric car in China this year. Now Lambert apparently also wants to put Borgward on the road to success with electric mobility. This year, the BXi7 will be launched first in China and then in Germany.