6 Milestones of Innovation


Borgward Blitzkarren

While it was a brave and self-confident act just a year after the end of the First World War, founding an automotive supplier to produce radiators was only an interim step for Carl F. W. Borgward. The 29-year-old engineer wanted to design and build cars – nothing else.


Borgward Hansa 1500

Carl F. W. Borgward could have taken the easy option in the aftermath of the Second World War, by recommencing production of his extremely popular pre-war vehicles. As a general rule, German carmakers adopted a cautious approach to developing new technologies at the time. As a restless and visionary engineer, however, Carl F. W. Borgward was looking far beyond the horizon.



  • 1919

    Carl F. W. Borgward becomes a partner and managing director of the limited liability company Bremer Reifen-Industrie GmbH, which produces radiators and fenders for the automotive industry.

  • 1921

    Borgward becomes the sole shareholder in the company, which is renamed Bremer Kühlerfabrik Borgward & Co.

  • 1924

    The first vehicle designed and built by Borgward, the small, manoeuvrable and affordable Blitzkarren (Lightning Cart), has a payload of up to 250 kilogrammes. It immediately strikes a chord with tradesmen and small businesses. The Deutsche Reichspost uses the little truck to collect mail from post boxes in Bremen, Germany.

  • 1925

    The businessman Wilhelm Tecklenborg joins the company. Relocation of production to larger premises on Industriestrasse in Bremen.

  • 1926

    The Goliath three-wheeler appears as the technically refined successor of the Blitzkarren, offering twice the payload.

  • 1928

    Further expansion accomplished by acquiring the building of a former body works; relocation to site in the immediate vicinity of Hansa-Lloyd-Werke; company renamed Goliath-Werke Borgward & Co.

  • 1929

    Borgward and Tecklenborg acquire a majority stake in Hansa-Lloyd-Werke and become members of the executive board.

  • 1931

    Borgward and Tecklenborg become sole shareholders of Hansa-Lloyd-Werke and merge the company with ­ Goliath-Werke Borgward & Co. to form Hansa-Lloyd und Goliath-Werke Borgward & Tecklenborg oHG. Production of the three-wheeled Goliath Pionier outstrips that of all other cars in Germany in 1931/32.

  • 1934

    Production launch of the Hansa 1100 and Hansa 1700 cars. For the first time, the engines and bodies are built in-house.

  • 1936

    Purchase of a 200,000 square metre site in Bremen-Sebaldsbrück for the construction of a new factory.

  • 1937

    Dissolution of the stock corporation and compensation payment to the co-shareholder Tecklenborg; Borgward becomes the sole owner of the company, now renamed Hansa-Lloyd-Goliath Werke Carl F. W. Borgward.

  • 1938

    23 September: Opening of the new factory in Bremen-Sebaldsbrück, the most modern automotive plant of its time. Company renamed Carl F. W. Borgward Bremen Automobil- und Motoren-Werke.

  • 1939

    BORGWARD ranks among the leading German automakers; the Hansa models are renamed BORGWARD. From the summer, the only car built by the company is the BORGWARD 2000/2300.

  • 1944

    12 October: The factories in Sebaldsbrück and Hastedt are largely destroyed in Allied bombing raids.

  • 1945

    Production of trucks (B 3000) and spare parts recommences in Sebaldsbrück.

  • 1948

    In the period until the currency reform of 20 June 1948, 2,700 trucks are built. Carl F. W. Borgward resumes control of the factories.

  • 1949

    Formation of three separate companies from the existing business, partially in response to raw material rationing; vehicle sales now conducted through three marques, namely Lloyd, Goliath, and BORGWARD. Presentation of the BORGWARD Hansa 1500 at the Geneva Motor Show – the first new designed German car of the post-war period.

  • 1950

    Launch of the Lloyd LP 300, affectionately known as the Leukoplastbomber (Band-Aid Bomber) – a compact car for the masses and for many the only affordable car. The Goliath GP 700 enters production. International motorsport debut, twelve records established in Montlhéry in the F class up to 1.5 litres, including 172 km/h (107 mph) average speed over 1,000 miles.

  • 1952

    BORGWARD enters the luxury segment with the Hansa 2400 fastback at the IAA (International Motor Show) in Frankfurt, Germany.

  • 1953

    Two racing coupés with aluminium bodies entered in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Carrera Panamericana rally.

  • 1954

    10 June: Launch of the BORGWARD Isabella, which is extremely popular; in the first year alone, 10,000 units are produced, and more than 200,000 Isabellas are sold in total.

  • 1956

    Development work starts on the three-seater helicopter Focke-Borgward BFK-1. Introduction of the Isabella Coupé with the TS engine (1.5-litre displacement, 75 hp).

  • 1958

    April: The 100,000th Isabella rolls off the production line.

  • 1959

    August: Presentation and series-production launch of the newly developed Lloyd Arabella. The luxury segment is revisited with the launch of the P 100 at the IAA (International Motor Show) in Frankfurt, Germany – the first German car with pneumatic suspension (codenamed "Airswing"). Record-breaking year: Sales advance to 632 million Deutschmarks, vehicle production exceeds 104,000 units, and the export ratio across all model series reaches 63.5 per cent.

  • 1960

    The BORGWARD Group captures a nine per cent share of the West German market, ranking third in the new registration statistics after Volkswagen and Opel. The P 100 enters series production. Initial cash flow problems triggered by losses at Lloyd and Goliath.

  • 1961

    Carl F. W. Borgward yields to pressure from the Bremen Senate and steps down from the company. Foundation of BORGWARD-Werke AG under the stewardship of the Senate. In the summer, initiation of bankruptcy proceedings against BORGWARD-Werke AG. Eight years later, after the finalisation of the proceedings it becomes evident that all creditors and employees were paid in full.

  • 1962

    A handful of former BORGWARD employees put the finishing touches to the final 23 Isabellas, stranded on the halted production line. The very last car is delivered at the beginning of 1962.

  • 2015

    After more than 50 years, BORGWARD returns to the circle of car manufacturers. The brand presents itself – for the first time since 1960 – at the Geneva International Motorshow.

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