Reborn Borgward to make Asean debut this month

By RAHIMI YUNUS / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

THE once defunct luxury car brand Borgward will make its Asean debut at the upcoming Malaysia Autoshow 2018 this month.

German marque Borgward Group AG, which used to be the country’s second-largest carmaker after Volkswagen AG, went bankrupt in 1961.

After being inoperative for 54 years, the brand was revived by the Chinese state-owned Beiqi Foton Motor Co Ltd for a €5 million (RM23.8 million) purchase from the founder’s grandson, Christian Borgward, in 2014.

At the upcoming Malaysia Autoshow 2018, Borgward will launch two new models — the SUVs BX5 and BX7 — together with a signing ceremony of its Asean distributorship network.

“The SUV launches are for the Asean market. Additionally, Borgward will appoint its official distribution arms for the region, where more than 100 of them will come to the autoshow and receive the distributorship certificates,” Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) CEO Datuk Madani Sahari said in a press conference on the Malaysia Autoshow 2018 yesterday.

The BX7 was first unveiled at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, while the BX5 was debuted a year later at the Geneva Auto Show.

In Malaysia, Borgward is brought in locally through its authorised manufacturer and distribution partner GO Exim Sdn Bhd.

Madani said Borgward will be deciding on the location of its local manufacturing plant soon.

He cited the newly automotive hub in Bagan Datoh, Perak, as announced by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi last weekend, as one of the potential sites for the plant.

Borgward’s presence is expected to add excitement to the fourth edition of the Malaysia Autoshow 2018.

The event will be held from April 26-29, 2018, hosting major events including a display of more than 100 cars and Volvo classic cars for the local car enthusiasts and general public alike.

Themed “360-degree Mobility Experience”, this year’s edition will also showcase a glimpse of future mobility at the Intelligent Mobility Experience inside one of the exhibition halls, while various test drives, a Toyota 4×4 experience and go-kart racing will be organised outside the exhibition compound.

MAI targets a total sales transaction of RM250 million for this year’s instalment, but believes it will exceed the initial projection — similar to what had happened to last year’s auto show.

The Malaysia Autoshow 2017 recorded a total sales transaction worth more than RM700 million.

This year, the four-day event is expected to draw more than 300,000 visitors.