A time of fresh, new beginnings, an opportunity to bring to the fore the lost glories of a memorable past, a never before opportunity to set in motion the rat race for gnawing into the biggest pie in the automotive sector in Bahrain is at the doorstep with the arrival of the Borgward, through Yousif Al Awadhi.
One waits for this beauty in her fresh new skin to enter the Bahrain car market. Isabella, she set hearts ablaze wherever she went, but that is in the past — over 50 years ago. The Eisenhover crisis of the late 50s tore through the car manufacturer. A half century later, a bold young entrepreneur, Christian Borgward (grandson of the founder Carl Borgward) and his partner Karlheinz L Knoss risks his fortunes to recreate the magic of the marque – resulting in another milestone the BX7.
GAZ talks to the man behind the legend in Bahrain, Yousif Al Awadi.
Opening the conversation, he said, the reason for opting to take up the agency is that it is a German make.
In the past, Germany had five big labels – Mercedes, BMW, Audi and Porsche and Borgwad.
The crises resulted in Borgward exiting the league and it became four. German labels are good and elegant and sought after by the high and mighty of society.
Now, his grandson, a new generation entrepreneur, took over — long after 50 years.
Although the brand did not produce any cars in the meantime, they kept the factory working. The grandson then decided to restore the brand.
He started the new models of the cars. Along with his partner, he began marketing the brand since 2016. The company began again from 2005. In this time they were preparing themselves.
In 2015, 2016 they made the BX7.
It is important to understand a little of the history to understand the brand and why they are important today.
Before the crash, in 1960, Borgward was number one in production. Their history begins in 1919, about 100 years now. Their production numbers, when they stopped was 102 million. Mercedes was only 900 something. BMW then was 300 something. Now they want to come back as before.
They are starting with a luxury car, which is full option. The plan is to create a luxury brand including the screen, which is 13 inch. The model is a four-wheel drive.
“I studied this company and found it has a good potential. The grandson is trying to do something unusual.”
The BX7 is a very popular model. Everybody is waiting for this.
The features are wonderful. The parts are all from Europe and Germany. Even the paint is from Europe, but they could not get an assembly line. So they are assembling it in China. In 2018, they will open an assembly line in Stuttgart Germany. That will produce electric cars. In 2020 all of Europe will only have electric cars. No more petrol or diesel.
The entire technology is European. Though the technology is expensive, the price of the finished product is not. They are entering the market, so they have on purpose kept the price very low – closer to the Korean price. Maybe even a little lesser than that. The factory has said that the entry into the market has to be very strong. They have sent us one model. We are testing it. It is very good. “I was in Germany where they invited us to a ceremony for signing the agreement.
The GCC agreement was made in the government house in Bremen. Borgward was a native of Bremen. The plan is to take the factory back to Bremen. The family is there and they want the marque to be located there.
The agency looked at Bordwad’s future plan – to make two to three models every year. In 2018 they plan seven to eight models. It is not easy. It costs much
In 2017 they promised us two models in September. In 2018 they promised to deliver three models, making it five models in all.
“For them I am the first agent not just here. but in all of Asia, Africa and Europe. The First showroom has alredy been completed. It is closer to on the opposite side of the EuroMotors showroom. This is the first showroom for them outside of their country. The major automotive map of Bahrain does not feature Yousif Awadhi. It is surprising how he came into the automotive and that too German cars despite there being others ready to take the plunge. Many asked me how I got this big company. I know there is competition. But sometime fate has it designed this way. Nobody can take away what has been destined for one.”
My maternal grandfather was an agent for English cars. There was Vanguard, Standard, Triumph. This was 1950 to 55. In 1960 to 62 when I was 13 years he showed me the showroom. . After 2 yers I became the manager of the showroom. So before I was 18 I was ordering the cars.
My uncle A J Kooheji was agent for Jaguar and Peugeot. However, after my grandfather’s death there was nobody to take that business. So it went out of our line.
Later on when A J Kooheji began in the car industry. In 1973 we shook hands with the Japanes company Daihatsu. We still deal with them. But I wanted to come back. We are dealing with Chinese models now and one is Foton.
Foton is a major and has a joint venture with Daimler. They manufacture pick ups and vans.
Our new showroom is 2000 sq metre. It will also have service centre. That part will be handled by the Europeans who will train Bahrainis to service their cars.
Price for BX7 is BD 13,500. The other model BX5 iis expected to be in Bahrain n September. Also it is possible BX6 will be in. Bogoward will look after service and spares. In 1950 there were 2000 spare parts dealers. Perhaps the only one.
Pricing of spares: Less spare parts prices with lower profit margins for about 5 to 7 years. Service guarantee with both. We give service for after sales. Company will give for parts. We will give repairing immediately. The spares will come from China and Europe. China is only the assembling plant. The parts are all European. In China over 70,000 cars already.
Bogoward is a leading brand and it was so. They went out of the market for over 50 years. We do not expect the new generation to k now the brand. We plan to get the car to them. This is the plan for both the manufacturer and for us as agents.
The pricing will be the most optimum. German products available at affordable pricing.