Carl F.W. Borgward

The legendary story began at the end of the 19th century. Carl F.W. Borgward (hereafter as Carl Borgward) was born as the German auto industry was merely in its infancy. As if by the hand of fate, his life was connected to automobiles since birth. Some say he was the pioneer of the future car, others credited him as an automotive genius, but he was truly much more. Carl Borgward shines as a lifetime achiever.

Raised as the son of a coal merchant with twelve brothers and sisters, Carl Borgward came from a modest background. What differentiated Carl Borgward from his other siblings was his fascination and immersion in the study of mechanical engineering. Perhaps due to his inherent childhood curiosity, he often dismantled and reassembled his toys. By 1890, 10-year old Carl Borgward was able to repair clocks and sewing machines. More surprisingly, he used scrapped springs, gears, plastic boxes, and other materials to produce small model cars! From then on, making cars became his greatest pleasure, which attracted great attention from acquaintances. In his youth, he was frequently heard firmly saying, “I want to make a car!”.18-year old Carl Borgward studied at the Hamburg Engineering School and Hanover Royal Institute of Technology, systematically accumulating professional knowledge in mechanical engineering. His study laid a solid foundation for his creation of the prominent Borgward automotive brand.

The consequence of Carl Borgward’s relentless pursuit of educationally came to fruition. After 10 years’ study and practical experience, the 29-year old Carl Borgward would have his breakthrough. Stimulated by German efforts to rebuild after World War I, huge demand for industrial development became a phenomenon in 1919. Carl Borgward seized the opportunity and became a partner and general manager of Bremen Tire Industrial Co., Ltd., embarking on his journey to establish an automotive empire.

An engineer with marketing vision, he was well-aware of consumer demand and knew how it could be quenched. Mainstream automotive brands like Mercedes-Benz and BMW had not yet reached potential markets outside of Germany or Europe, he surmised. Mainstream brands weren’t mindful of the huge potential of Bremen, Germany’s biggest port city. Emboldened by this knowledge, he made an extraordinary move to bolster export business, rapidly enriching his product line for foreign trade. Soon thereafter, this bold and inventive move was met with instant success – reciprocated in a rapid increase in sales. Forward-thinking business acumen brought fame to this once small-scale enterprise, appropriate yearning Borgward the title of the most exported automotive brand in the industry. By 1939, automotive genius Carl Borgward’s automotive empire dominated Northern Germany. His huge success can all be traced back to his childhood love of machines. When asked again about his passion.

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