Borgward Geneva 2015 1

It stood out among the supercars and hot hatchbacks that dominated Geneva 2015. This is the Isabella, a shapely coupe launched in 1955 by the German company Borgward, which has been resurrected. Founded in 1919, the Bremen-based carmaker went bankrupt in 1961 after producing 200,000 cars and racing at Le Mans and Nurburgring.

Its revival, ten years in the making, is being helmed by Christian Borgward, who is the grandson of the company’s founder, and his business partner, Karl-Heinz Knoess. Foton, China’s biggest commercial vehicle and truck company, is one of the partners in the consortium.

“We began shaping and designing the future of Borgward nearly ten years ago and are now ready for the next step. Geneva is an important step into our promising future and we cannot wait to be back there,” said Knoess, the new Borgward president who previously worked at Daimler and GM.

Knoess told Autocar UK that Borgward will be based in Stuttgart, and has aims to deliver up to 800,000 cars per annum by 2020 in the business plan’s initial phase. In a second phase, Borgward is targeting up to 1.6 million cars annually by 2025.

Sounds pretty ambitious, and it is. “We want to become one of the top players in the automotive industry,” Knoess was quoted as saying.

First up for Borgward is an SUV that will be showed at this year’s Frankfurt motor show (September), with a second production to debut at the next Geneva show. The planned cars will be powered by a range of proprietary engines, follow the theme of “accessible premium” and will not look retro, the company says.

“We intend to roll out models that are worthy of the name. They will be luxurious, inventive and bold – just like those of my grandfather,” Christian Borgward declared.