Productions

Borgward – The Return of a Legend (AT)

NDR

His cars were as beautiful as “Bella Italia”, which is much sung about in German songs. They wore women’s names like Isabella or Arabella. And those who strolled through the post-war cities in one of their coupés demonstrated to passers-by: prosperity is returning. Being part again – at the wheel of a Borgward! The Bremen car maker Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Borgward delivered the dream cars of the fifties, when the economy seemed to know only one way: the upward. All the more stunned the Bremer residents responded to the bankruptcy of the largest employer of their city in the summer of 1961.

The brand has earned a second chance, says Christian Borgward, grandson of the company founder. Ten years and all his savings, he has invested in the rebirth of the legend. He gave up his drink delivery service “Borgward brings it”, won experienced ex-automanagers as a fellow campaigner, bought back the naming rights and set off on his journey – to China, the economic wonderland of the 21st century. In 2013, Christian Borgward signed a contract with Chinese investor Wang Jinyu. The founder of Beiqi Foton Motor, China’s largest truck manufacturer, bought him all trademark rights, in return, he received a say in the company as head of the supervisory board. The partners’ plans to return Borgward to the mass market are exceedingly ambitious and expensive. But isn’t it anachronistic in times of digital transformation of the auto industry to bet on the sound of an old German brand? What drives the grandson of the ingenious car manufacturer into such an undertaking, which is judged as completely hopeless by some observers? The film portrays Christian Borgward’s adventurous attempt to gain a foothold in the industry and accompanies him on his way from Wolfsburg, the old Autostadt, to Beijing, the metropolis of e-mobility.

Helmut Monkenbusch Tom Fröhlich Oliver Kratz, Paul Bentzen, Andrzej Król, Björn Kowalewsky Doreen Buchholz LUMALENSCAPE Ron Glavas Stefan Bomhof, Nadine Mayer Dagmar Rosenbauer Eric Friedler, Silke Schütze, NDR Juni-August 2018 Bremen, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Peking n.n.
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