EghtesadOnline: Recently revived German luxury mark Borgward is planning to enter the Iranian market in the next fiscal year starting in March after the sales of vehicles in the Chinese mainland in 2016.
The Borgward Group, the latest aspirant to tackle the world’s biggest auto market, saw its last Isabella coupe roll off a production line in 1961. However, with the help of state-owned Chinese truck maker Beiqi Foton, the revived brand began sales of a SUV in June 2016 in Beijing.
The Sino-German company is in the process of promoting the vehicle with local dealers, according to a Tehran-based marketing firm that is in the bidding to support the brand’s sales in the saturated market.
“We position ourselves above Japanese and Koreans, but below or close to Volkswagen” and will target well-educated young families who “would be happy to buy a BMW but couldn’t afford it and wouldn’t buy a cheap brand,” CEO of the firm Ulrich Walker said last year.
According to Financial Tribune, the new version of the Borgward brand aims to tap into the fascination of Iranians for SUVs. China’s Chery and JAC and France’s PSA Group and Renault are already present with several models.
The 2016 Borgward BX7 (BMW X5 size) is likely to retail in the local market at 2.2 billion rials (€62,000) with Iran’s 100% import tax which is roughly the same price as the recently released new-generation Renault Koleos SUV.
The smaller BX5 (BMW X3 size) would likely carry a 1.7-billion-rial (€46,000) tag with the tax levied on it pegging it against the Hyundai and Kia models around the same price.
The smallest of the brand is the BX3 model (Ssangyong Tivoli size) that comes around one billion rials (€23,000) -- the same price as Chery’s new Tiggo7 model.
All three vehicles share the same architecture and the same 1.8 and 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines. Torque is distributed briskly by a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, the top-of-the-line powerplant produces a healthy 225bhp, the plug-in hybrid churns out 401bhp and a combined torque of 479lb ft, according to Car Magazine.
Financial Tribune reached out to Borgward but there was no response due to the weekend.
Borgward entry would be the latest in several carmakers converging on the Iranian market, and it would be the first time the company will come to the local market as it has never sold vehicles in the country before.
The company recently signed a deal with France’s Faurecia group in December 2016 to produce car parts at a Chinese plant in Tianjin. Faurecia also recently signed a deal with Iran’s carmakers to produce parts for Iran Khodro and Peugeot vehicles. The two deals are unlikely to be linked to Borgward when it arrives because it will be imported as completely built units.
Borgward traces its roots to 1924 when Carl F.W. Borgward, an engineer, designed and built a motorized carrier cycle called Blitzkarren. By the 1950s, it was the third-largest carmaker in Germany and accounted for 60% of the country’s auto exports. Its best-known model, the Isabella, was introduced in 1954.
Borgward is also seeking an assembly site in Europe, where it plans to sell plug-in electric versions of the BX7.