Historic German automotive brand Borgward is reportedly bankrupt again, almost eight years after its revival was announced to the public.
Automotive News (subscription required), citing a statement from Foton, the modern Borgward’s Chinese backer, reported last week a Beijing court in November had declared Borgward bankrupt.
Borgward is now in the process of seeking court approval to liquidate its assets, according to the report.
Foton is a commercial vehicles brand forming part of state-owned Chinese automaker BAIC. It was the leading source of Borgward’s funding, but in 2018 the company already announced plans to sell a 67% stake in Borgward to help further fund it.
According to filings with the Shanghai Stock Exchange, where Foton is listed, Borgward lost 4.7 billion renminbi (approximately $676 million) in 2021 alone, or more than the cumulative losses of the company from 2016-2018.
Even among auto enthusiasts, the Borgward name isn’t particularly well known. The original Borgward was founded in Bremen in 1890 and lasted until 1961. At one point it was Germany’s third-biggest car brand, with impressive models like the Isabella of the 1950s.
Since the revival, the modern Borgward has launched the BX7, BX6, BX5, and BX3 crossovers. However, sales slowed to a trickle in 2021, reaching just 3,600 units, down from a peak of 55,000 units in 2019.