FRANKFURT -- Borgward, an automaker that is being revived with Chinese backing, plans to double its workforce in Germany.
Borgward will debut its first modern-day model, an SUV, at the Frankfurt auto show on Sept. 15. The SUV will go on sale in China next year aimed at models such as the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC.
Borgward, which has an office in Stuttgart, Germany, will increase its German work force to 120 by the end of next year from 50 now, Ulrich Walker told Automotive News Europe’s sibling publication Automobilwoche.
Borgward will build its new SUV in China with local partner Foton and the vehicle will initially begin sales in China next year before being rolled out to other developing markets including India and Brazil and later to Europe, Walker said.
He said the SUV will offer “affordable and efficient technology.” Asked whether the market will support another automaker, Walker told Automobilwoche that he knows the company had a long way to go, but that Borgward would “keep its promises.”
Walker, 64, retired from Daimler in 2012 after a 30-year career with the automaker that included stints as head of the Smart small-car brand and CEO of the company's northeast Asia operations including China.
Earlier this year, Borgward persuaded Walker to come out of retirement and join a team hoping to resurrect the German marque.
Besides the SUV, the company has said it is creating a range of cars including small, midsize and compact models under its design head, Einar Hareide, a former designer at Saab and Volvo.
Between 1919 and 1961, Borgward built more than 1 million cars in its plant in Bremen, Germany, including the Borgward Hansa 1500 sedan and the Isabella TS coupe. The company marketed cars under three different brands including Goliath and Lloyd before closing because of financial troubles.