Borgward was a German automobile manufacturer founded by Carl F. W. Borgward (November 10, 1890 - July 28, 1963). The company was based in Bremen. The Borgward group eventually produced cars with the four brands Borgward, Hansa, Goliath and Lloyd.
Borgward Hansa 1500 of 1952
Borgward Hansa 1500 Sportcoupé (1954)
Isabella TS Deluxe
Borgward P100 with air spring
Borgward B4500 (1957)
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 2300that 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.
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 Mexico
The start of production in Mexico was delayed, but was eventually begun in 1967 by the entrepreneur Gregorio Ramirez Gonzalez. Production in Mexico ceased in 1970.
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