Motoren Werke commonly known as BMW is a German automobile, motorcycle and engine manufacturing company founded in 1917. BMW is headquartered in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. It also owns and produces Mini cars, and is the parent company of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. BMW produces motorcycles under BMW Motorrad. In 2010, the BMW group produced 1,481,253 automobiles and 112,271 motorcycles across all its brands. BMW is part of the “German Big 3” luxury automakers, along with Audi and Mercedes-Benz, which are the three best-selling luxury automakers in the world.
BMW was established as a business entity following a restructuring of the Rapp Motoren werke aircraft manufacturing firm in 1917. After the end of World War I in 1918, BMW was forced to cease aircraft engine production by the terms of the Versailles Armistice Treaty. The company consequently shifted to motorcycle production in 1923, once the restrictions of the treaty started to be lifted, followed by automobiles in 1928–29.
The first car which BMW successfully produced and the car which launched BMW on the road to automobile production was the Dixi, it was based on the Austin 7 and licensed from the Austin Motor Company in Birmingham, England.
BMW’s first significant aircraft engine was the BMW IIIa inline-six liquid-cooled engine of 1918, much preferred for its high-altitude performance. With German rearmament in the 1930s, the company again began producing aircraft engines for the Luftwaffe.
Among its successful World War II engine designs were the BMW 132 and BMW 801 air-cooled radial engines, and the pioneering BMW 003 axial-flow turbojet, which powered the tiny, 1944–1945–era jet-powered “emergency fighter”, the Heinkel He 162 Spatz. The BMW 003 jet engine was tested in the A-1b version of the world’s first jet fighter, the Messerschmitt Me 262, but BMW engines failed on takeoff, a major setback for the jet fighter program until successful testing with Junkers engines.
By the year 1959, the automotive division of BMW was in financial difficulties and a shareholders meeting was held to decide whether to go into liquidation or find a way of carrying on. It was decided to carry on and to try to cash in on the current economy car boom enjoyed so successfully by some of Germany’s ex-aircraft manufacturers such as Messerschmitt and Heinkel. The rights to manufacture the Italian Iso Isetta were bought; the tiny cars themselves were to be powered by a modified form of BMW’s own motorcycle engine. This was moderately successful and helped the company get back on its feet.
The controlling majority shareholder of the BMW Aktiengesell schaft since 1959 is the Quandt family, which owns about 46% of the stock. The rest is in public float. BMW acquired the Hans Glas company based in Dingolfing, Germany, in 1966. It was reputed that the acquisition was mainly to gain access to Glas’ development of the timing belt with an overhead camshaft in automotive applications. Glas vehicles were briefly badged as BMW until the company was fully absorbed. In 1992, BMW acquired a large stake in California based industrial design studio DesignworksUSA, which they fully acquired in 1995.
In 1994, BMW bought the British Rover Group (which at the time consisted of the Rover, Land Rover and MG brands as well as the rights to defunct brands including Austin and Morris), and owned it for six years. By 2000, Rover was incurring huge losses and BMW decided to sell the combine. The MG and Rover brands were sold to the Phoenix Consortium to form MG Rover, while Land Rover was taken over by Ford. BMW, meanwhile, retained the rights to build the new Mini, which was launched in 2001. Chief designer Chris Bangle announced his departure from BMW in February 2009, after serving on the design team for nearly seventeen years. 16] He was replaced by Adrian van Hooydonk, Bangle’s former right hand man. Bangle was known for his radical designs such as the 2002 7-Series and the 2002 Z4. In July 2007, the production rights for Husqvarna Motorcycles was purchased by BMW for a reported 93 million euros. BMW Motorrad plans to continue operating Husqvarna Motorcycles as a separate enterprise. All development, sales and production activities, as well as the current workforce, have remained in place at its present location at Varese. In June 2012, BMW was listed as the #1 most reputable company in the world by Forbes. om.  Rankings are based upon aspects such as “people’s willingness to buy, recommend, work for, and invest in a company is driven 60% by their perceptions of the company and only 40% by their perceptions of their products. ” ————————————————- Production  | This section includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but the sources of this section remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. Please improve this article by introducing more precise citations. (July 2012)|
BMW plant in Leipzig, Germany: Spot welding of BMW 3 series car bodies withKUKA industrial robots. In 2006, the BMW group (including Mini and Rolls-Royce) produced 1,366,838 four-wheeled vehicles, which were manufactured in five countries.  In 2010, it manufactured 1,481,253 four-wheeled vehicles and 112,271 motorcycles (under both the BMW and Husqvarna brands).  The BMW X3 (E83) was made by Magna Steyr, a subsidiary of Magna of Canada, in Graz, Austria under license from BMW until 2010. More than 45,973 were produced in 2009. Starting October 2010, the new BMW X3 (F25) is produced at BMW US Manufacturing Co. Greer, Spartanburg County, South Carolina, USA It is reported that about 56% of BMW-brand vehicles produced are powered by petrol engines and the remaining 44% are powered by diesel engines. Of those petrol vehicles, about 27% are four-cylinder models and about nine percent are eight-cylinder models.  BMW also has local assembly operation using complete knock down components in Thailand, Russia, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, and India, for 3, 5, 7 series and X3.  Annual Production Year| BMW| MINI| Rolls-Royce| Motorcycle| 2005| 1,122,308| 200,119| 692| 92,012| 006| 1,179,317| 186,674| 847| 103,759| 2007| 1,302,774| 237,700| 1,029| 104,396| 2008| 1,203,482| 235,019| 1,417| 118,452| 2009| 1,043,829| 213,670| 918| 93,243| 2010| 1,236,989| 241,043| 3,221| 112,271| Worldwide sales  Vehicles sold in all markets according to BMW’s annual reports. Year| BMW| MINI| Rolls-Royce| Motorcycle| 2000| 822,181| | | | 2001| 880,677| | | | 2002| 913,225| | | | 2003| 928,151| | | | 2004| 1,023,583| | | | 2005| 1,126,768| 200,428| 796| 97,474| 2006| 1,185,088| 188,077| 805| 100,064| 2007| 1,276,793| 222,875| 1,010| 102,467| 008| 1,202,239| 232,425| 1,212| 115,196| 2009| 1,068,770| 216,538| 1,002| 100,358| 2010| 1,224,280| 234,175| 2,711| 110,113| History BMW AG originated with three other manufacturing companies, Rapp Motorenwerke and Bayerische Flugzeugwerke (BFw) in Bavaria, andFahrzeugfabrik Eisenach in Thuringia. Aircraft engine manufacturer Rapp Motorenwerke became Bayerische Motorenwerke in 1916. The engine manufacturer, which built proprietary industrial engines after World War I, was then bought by the owner of BFw who then merged BFw into BMW and moved the engine works onto BFw’s premises.
BFw’s motorcycle sideline was improved upon by BMW and became an integral part of their business. BMW became an automobile manufacturer in 1929 when it purchased Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach, which, at the time, built Austin Sevens under licence under the Dixi marque. BMW’s team of engineers progressively developed their cars from small Seven-based cars into six-cylinder luxury cars and, in 1936, began production of the BMW 328 sports car. Aircraft engines, motorcycles, and automobiles would be BMW’s main products until World War II.
During the war, against the wishes of its director Franz Josef Popp, BMW concentrated on aircraft engine production, with motorcycles as a side line and automobile manufacture stopped altogether. After the war, BMW survived by making pots, pans, and bicycles until 1948, when it restarted motorcycle production. Meanwhile, BMW’s factory in Eisenach fell in the Soviet occupation zone and the Soviets restarted production of pre-war BMW motorcycles and automobiles there. This continued until 1955, after which they concentrated on cars based on pre-war DKW designs. BMW began building cars in Bavaria in 1952 with the BMW 501luxury saloon.
Sales of their luxury saloons were too small to be profitable, so BMW supplemented this with building Isettas under licence. Slow sales of luxury cars and small profit margins from microcars caused the BMW board to consider selling the operation to Daimler-Benz. However, Herbert Quandt was convinced to purchase a controlling interest in BMW and to invest in its future. Quandt’s investment, along with profits from the BMW 700, brought about the BMW New Class and BMW New Six. These new products, along with the absorption of Hans Glas GmbH, gave BMW a sure footing on which to expand.
BMW grew in strength, eventually acquiring the Rover Group (most of which was later divested), and the license to build automobiles under the Rolls-Royce marque. ————————————————- Environmental record  The company is a charter member of the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Environmental Achievement Track, which recognises companies for their environmental stewardship and performance. It is also a member of the South Carolina Environmental Excellence Program and is on the Dow Jones Sustainability Group Index, which rates environmentally friendly companies. 29] BMW has taken measures to reduce the impact the company has on the environment. It is trying to design less-polluting cars by making existing models more efficient, as well as developing environmentally friendly fuels for future vehicles. Possibilities include: electric power, hybrid power (combustion engines and electric motors) hydrogen engines.  BMW offers 49 models with EU5/6 emissions norm and nearly 20 models with CO2 output less than 140 g/km, which puts it on the lowest tax group and therefore could provide the future owner with eco-bonus offered from some European countries.
However, there have been some criticisms directed at BMW, and in particular, accusations of greenwash in reference to their BMW Hydrogen 7. Some critics claim that the emissions produced during hydrogen fuel production outweigh the reduction of tailpipe emissions, and that the Hydrogen 7 is a distraction from more immediate, practical solutions for car pollution.  Bayerische Motoren Werke AG| | Type| Aktiengesellschaft| Traded as| FWB: BMW| Industry| Automotive| Predecessor(s)| Bayerische Flugzeugwerke AG (BFW)| Founded| 7 March 1916| Founder(s)| Franz Josef Popp| Headquarters| Munich, Germany|
Area served| Worldwide| Key people| Norbert Reithofer (CEO),Joachim Milberg (Chairman of the supervisory board), Adrian van Hooydonk (Vice-President),Karim Habib (Director of Design)| Products| Automobiles, motorcycles, bicycles| Production output| 1,481,253 Automobiles (2010) 112,271 Motorcycles (2010)| Revenue| €68. 82 billion (2011)| Operating income| €8. 006 billion (2011)| Profit| €4. 881 billion (2011)| Total assets| €123. 42 billion (2011)| Total equity| €27. 10 billion (2011)| Employees| 102,007 (2011)| Divisions| Mini BMW Motorsport Rolls-Royce Motor Cars| Subsidiaries| List[show]|
Website| bmwgroup. com| ————————————————- Motorcycles  | This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (June 2008)| See also: BMW Motorrad and History of BMW motorcycles The R32 motorcycle, the first BMW motor vehicle. BMW began building motorcycle engines and then motorcycles after World War I.  Its motorcycle brand is now known as BMW Motorrad. Their first successful motorcycle, after the failed Helios and Flink, was the “R32” in 1923.
This had a “boxer” twin engine, in which a cylinder projects into the air-flow from each side of the machine. Apart from their single-cylinder models (basically to the same pattern), all their motorcycles used this distinctive layout until the early 1980s. Many BMWs are still produced in this layout, which is designated the R Series. During the Second World War, BMW produced the BMW R75 motorcycle with a sidecar attached. Featuring a unique design copied from the ZundappKS750, its sidecar wheel was also motor-driven. Combined with a lockable differential, this made the vehicle very capable off-road, an equivalent in many ways to the Jeep.
In 1982, came the K Series, shaft drive but water-cooled and with either three or four cylinders mounted in a straight line from front to back. Shortly after, BMW also started making the chain-driven F and G series with single and parallel twin Rotax engines. BMW R1200RT In the early 1990s, BMW updated the airhead Boxer engine which became known as the oilhead. In 2002, the oilhead engine had two spark plugs per cylinder. In 2004 it added a built-in balance shaft, an increased capacity to 1,170 cc and enhanced performance to 100 hp (75 kW) for the R1200GS, compared to 85 hp (63 kW) of the previous R1150GS.
More powerful variants of the oilhead engines are available in the R1100S and R1200S, producing 98 hp (73 kW) and 122 hp (91 kW), respectively. In 2004, BMW introduced the new K1200S Sports Bike which marked a departure for BMW. It features an engine producing 167 hp (125 kW), derived from the company’s work with the Williams F1 team, and is lighter than previous K models. Innovations include electronically adjustable front and rear suspension, and a Hossack-type front fork that BMW calls Duolever. BMW S1000RR BMW introduced anti-lock brakes on production motorcycles starting in the late 1980s.
The generation of anti-lock brakes available on the 2006 and later BMW motorcycles pave the way for the introduction ofelectronic stability control, or anti-skid technology later in the 2007 model year. BMW has been an innovator in motorcycle suspension design, taking up telescopic front suspension long before most other manufacturers. Then they switched to an Earles fork, front suspension by swinging fork (1955 to 1969). Most modern BMWs are truly rear swingarm, single sided at the back (compare with the regular swinging fork usually, and wrongly, called swinging arm).
Some BMWs started using yet another trademark front suspension design, the Telelever, in the early 1990s. Like the Earles fork, the Telelever significantly reduces dive under braking. BMW Group, on 31 January 2013 announced that Pierer Industrie AG has bought Husqvarna for an undisclosed amount, which will not be revealed by either party in the future. The company is headed by Stephan pierer (CEO of KTM). Pierer Industrie AG is 51% owner of KTM and 100% owner of Husqvarna. ————————————————- Automobiles 
Main article: List of BMW vehicles New Class  Main article: BMW New Class The New Class (German: Neue Klasse) was a line of compact sedans and coupes starting with the 1962 1500 and continuing through the last 2002s in 1977. Powered by BMW’s celebrated four-cylinder M10 engine, the New Class models featured a fully independent suspension, MacPherson struts in front, and front disc brakes. Initially a family of four-door sedans and two-door coupes, the New Class line was broadened to two-door sports sedans with the addition of the 02 Series 1600 and 2002 in 1966.
Sharing little in common with the rest of the line beyond power train, the sporty siblings caught auto enthusiasts’ attention and established BMW as an international brand. Precursors to the famed BMW 3 Series, the two-doors’ success cemented the firm’s future as an upper tier performance car maker. New Class four-doors with numbers ending in “0” were replaced by the largerBMW 5 Series in 1972. The upscale 2000C and 2000CS coupes were replaced by the six-cylinder BMW E9, introduced in 1969 with the 2800CS.
The 1600 two-door was discontinued in 1975, the 2002 replaced by the 320i in 1975. Current models  BMW 5-Series (F10) The 1 Series, originally launched in 2004, is BMW’s smallest car. Currently available are the second generation hatchback (F20) and first generation coupe/convertible (E82/E88). The 3 Series, a compact executive car manufactured since model year 1975, is currently in its sixth generation (F30); models include the sport sedan (F30), and fourth generation station wagon (E91), and convertible (E93) and third generation coupe (E92).
The 5 Seriesis a mid-size executive car, available in sedan (F10) and station wagon (F11) forms. The 5 Series Gran Turismo (F07), debuted in 2010, created a segment between station wagons and crossover SUV.  BMW Z4 (E89) BMW’s full-size flagship executive sedan is the 7 Series. Typically, BMW introduces many of their innovations first in the 7 Series, such as the somewhat controversial iDrive system. The 7 Series Hydrogen, featuring one of the world’s first hydrogen fueled internal combustion engines, is fueled by liquid hydrogen and emits only clean water vapor.
The latest generation (F01) debuted in 2009. Based on the 5 Series’ platform, the 6 Series is BMW’s grand touring luxury sport coupe/convertible (E63/E64). A 2-seater roadster and coupe which succeeded the Z3, the Z4 (E85) has been sold since 2002. BMW X3 (F25) The X3 (E83), BMW’s second crossover SUV (called SAV or “Sports Activity Vehicle” by BMW) debuted in 2003 and is based on the E46/16 3 Series platform. Marketed in Europe as an off-roader, it benefits from BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system.
The all-wheel drive X5 (E70) was BMW’s first crossover SUV (SAV), based on the 5 series, and is a mid-size luxury SUV (SAV) sold by BMW since 2000. A 4-seat crossover SUV released by BMW in December 2007, the X6 is marketed as a “Sports Activity Coupe” (SAC) by BMW. The X1 extends the BMW Sports Activity Series model lineup. ————————————————- Overseas subsidiaries  South Africa  BMWs have been assembled in South Africa since 1968, when Praetor Monteerders’ plant was opened in Rosslyn, near Pretoria.
BMW initially bought shares in the company, before fully acquiring it in 1975; in so doing, the company became BMW South Africa, the first wholly owned subsidiary of BMW to be established outside Germany. Three unique models that BMW Motorsport created for the South African market were the E23 M745i (1983), which used the M88 engine from the BMW M1, the BMW 333i (1986), which added a six-cylinder 3. 2-litre M30 engine to the E30, and the E30 BMW 325is (1989) which was powered by an Alpina-derived 2. 7-litre engine. Unlike U. S. anufacturers, such as Ford and GM, which divested from the country in the 1980s, BMW retained full ownership of its operations in South Africa. Following the end of apartheid in 1994, and the lowering of import tariffs, BMW South Africa ended local production of the 5-Series and 7-Series, in order to concentrate on production of the 3-Series for the export market. South African–built BMWs are now exported to right hand drive markets including Japan, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong, as well as Sub-Saharan Africa.
Since 1997, BMW South Africa has produced vehicles in left-hand drive for export to Taiwan, the United States and Iran, as well as South America. BMWs with a VIN starting with “NC0” are manufactured in South Africa. United States  BMW Spartanburg factory BMW Manufacturing Co (the factory opened in 1994) has been manufacturing all Z4 and the X5 (even those on Bavarian roads) and, more recently, the X6 on the same assembly line in Greer near Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA.  In an average work day the company builds 600 vehicles: 500 X5s and 100 Z4s.
Though, BMW engines are made in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. The smaller X3 has began production in Greer. BMWs with a VIN starting with “4US and 5US” are manufactured at BMW US Manufacturing Co. , Greer, Spartanburg County, South Carolina, USA. In 2010 BMW announced that it would spend $750 million to expand operations at the Greer plant. This expansion will allow production of 240,000 vehicles a year and will make the plant the largest car factory in the United States by number of employees.  USA market is BMW’s biggest single market. India 
BMW Chennai plant, Tamil Nadu, India BMW India was established in 2006 as a sales subsidiary in Gurgaon (National Capital Region). A state-of-the-art assembly plant for BMW 3 and 5 Series started operation in early 2007 in Chennai. Construction of the plant started in January 2006 with an initial investment of more than one billion Indian Rupees. The plant started operation in the first quarter of 2007 and produces the different variants of BMW 3 Series and BMW 5 Series.  In 2011, The Brand Trust Report, India study, ranked BMW as the 33rd most trusted brand in India. 70] China  Main article: BMW Brilliance Signing a deal in 2003 for the production of sedans in China, May 2004 saw the opening of a factory in the North-eastern city of Shenyang whereBrilliance Auto produces BMW-branded automobiles in a joint venture with the German company.  Japan  Yanase Co. , Ltd. is the exclusive retailer of all imported BMW (passenger cars and motorcycles) products to Japanese consumers, and has had the exclusive rights to do so since the end of World War II. Canada 
In October 2008, BMW Group Canada was named one of Greater Toronto’s Top Employers by Mediacorp Canada Inc. , which was announced by the Toronto Star newspaper.  Egypt  Bavarian Auto Group is a multinational group of companies established in March 2003 when it was appointed as the sole importer of BMW and Mini in Egypt, with monopoly rights for import, assembly, distribution, sales and after-sales support of BMW products in Egypt. Since that date, BAG invested a total amount of US$100 million distributed on seven companies and 11 premises in addition to three stores.
Currently, the facility enables Bavarian Auto the opportunity to offer a full range of locally assembled models; including the BMW 3 Series, 5 Series, 7 Series and X3 which. In combination with a new range of imported models; including the BMW 1 Series, 6 Series, X5, X6 and various Mini models. ————————————————- Marketing  Roundel logo  The circular blue and white BMW logo or roundel evolved from the circular Rapp Motorenwerke company logo, from which the BMW company grew, combined with the blue and white colors of theflag of Bavaria. 75] The logo has been portrayed as the movement of an aircraft propeller with the white blades cutting through a blue sky—first used in a BMW advertisement in 1929, twelve years after the roundel was created—but this is not the origin of the logo itself.  Audio logo  In 2013, BMW replaced the ‘double-gong’ sound used in TV and Radio advertising campaign since 1998 with to represent the future identity of BMW, which was described as “introduced by a rising, resonant sound and underscored by two distinctive bass tones that form the sound logo’s melodic and rhythmic basis.  The new sound was first used in BMW 4 Series Concept Coupe TV commercial.  The sound was produced by Thomas Kisser of HASTINGS media music.  Driving change in a highly competitive marketplace through continually enhancing the aspirational driving experienceAUTOMOTIVE| PROFILE: BMW Founded in 1917, the BMW Group is now one of the ten largest car manufacturers in the world and, with its BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands, possesses three of the strongest premium brands in the car industry.
The group also has a strong market position in the motorcycle sector and operates a successful financial services business. The company aims to generate profitable growth and above-average returns by focusing on the premium segments of the international automobile markets. With this in mind, a wide-ranging product and market offensive was initiated in 2001, which has resulted in the BMW Group expanding its product range considerably and strengthening its worldwide market position. The company’s brand is extremely strong and is associated with high performance, engineering excellence and innovation.
Indeed, the BMW brand is often cited as one of the ‘best’ in the world, and the company continues to launch a stream of innovative products as part of its battle with German peer Mercedes to be the world’s largest luxury car maker. | | BMW’s focus on engineering excellence allied to leading-edge design continues to drive successful, profitable expansion. In 2007 BMW sales increased by 8%, Mini by 18% and Rolls-Royce by 26% with, for the first time ever, over 1000 of the super luxury cars being produced in one year.
To further this growth, a host of new models is being launched, including the Mini Clubman and the new sport utility vehicle, the BMW X6 – the world’s first SUV coupe. While the Clubman reinvents views on vehicle access, the X6 is an excellent example of BMW innovation at work. It combines the safety and convenience of a four-wheel-drive with the on-road performance of a sports car and is designed to appeal to the driver who enjoys a commanding driving position, but also savours the characteristics of a sports car.
With its stretched coupe silhouette and pronounced performance design, underpinned by hybrid engine options, as previously achieved with the X5 and the X3 in allied markets, the X6 is the latest instance of BMW changing perceptions of what a car should provide – for its passengers and its driver alike. At its heart, it restates an aspiration for driving that is both exclusive and yet also available to the mass market. BMW has also been at the forefront of introducing new IT options to enhance the driving experience.
Starting with the iDrive first introduced in the 7-series, BMW ConnectedDrive is now available across most models and is adding greater functionaility. After being one of the first to offer the capability for MP3 connectivity and incorporate RSS feeds including weather information, in 2007 BMW teamed up with Google to offer a PC driven route planning service. Of course this level of innovation does not come cheaply and a key challenge going forward will be to keep research and development costs under control.
During the last five years, BMW’s average annual R&D investment has been around €2,300 per car, compared with €1,700 spent by arch-rival Mercedes. Alongside the examples above, much of the money has gone into the car maker’s Efficient Dynamics programme aimed at making engines more efficient, improving aerodynamics, reducing weight and capturing energy during braking. As the numbers clearly show, BMW is a mass market player but one that successfully uses focused innovation to build and maintain the aspirational driving experience for many.
Through a constant stream of consumer informed innovations, the company has moved ahead of its peers and future sustained and profitable growth is widely predicted. | | International success. The BMW Group. With the three brands, BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, the BMW Group has its sights set firmly on the premium sector of the international automobile market. To achieve its aims, the company knows how to deploy its strengths with an efficiency that is unmatched in the automotive industry. From research and development to sales and marketing, BMW Group is committed to the very highest in quality for all its products and services.
The company’s success to date is proof of this strategy’s correctness. 1916 – Establishment of BMW. BMW can trace its roots back to Karl Rapp and Gustav Otto. In 1916, the Flugmaschinenfabrik Gustav Otto company had merged into Bayerische Flugzeug-Werke AG (BFW) at government behest. Elsewhere, in 1917, the Rapp Motorenwerke company morphed into Bayerische Motoren Werke GmbH, which was duly converted into an AG (public limited company) in 1918. BMW AG subsequently transferred its engine construction operations – including the company and brand names – to BFW in 1922.
The date of BFW’s founding, 6 March 1916, has therefore gone down in history as the birth-date of Bayerische Motoren Werke AG. 1917 – The BMW Emblem. From 1917, each of the company’s products proudly displays the BMW emblem, which incorporates the state colours of Bavaria. At the end of the 1920s, the emblem makes its first appearance in the company’s advertising as a rotating propeller – taking a form that will be used as the logo long into the future 1922 – Company relocation and new beginning. After the end of the war, railway brakes and inboard engines were manufactured following the prohibition on the production of aero-engines.
After the company was sold to Knorr Bremse AG in 1920, financier Camillo Castiglioni acquired engine production along with the workforce and production facilities, the company name and the logo in white and blue. He then transferred everything to “Bayerische Flugzeuge-Werke AG” (BFW). That same year the company relocated to the production facilities of BFW at Munich’s Oberwiesenfeld airfield. The main plant and the Headquarters of the BMW Group are still at this location today. 1923 – BMW R 32 – the first BMW motorcycle. BMW announced its first motorcycle, the R 32, in 1923.
Until then the company had only supplied engines rather than complete vehicles. The basic concept of the original BMW Motorrad model – a boxer engine with longitudinally positioned cylinders and shaft drive – is so sound, that it continues to be employed in the company’s motorcycles to this day 1928 – BMW begins automotive construction. BMW became an automobile manufacturer in 1928 by purchasing the company known as Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach. Until the Second World War broke out, all BMW cars were made at this plant in the Thuringia region of Germany.
The first BMW small car was built under licence from the Austin Motor Company in 1929, but was superseded by the company’s own designs in 1932. 1934 – Aero-engine manufacture becomes autonomous. Starting in 1933, aircraft construction in Germany received substantial financial support from the government. In 1934, BMW AG hived off its aero-engine division to BMW Flugmotorenbau GmbH. Two years later Flugmotorenfabrik Eisenach GmbH was established jointly by the AG (public limited company) and the GmbH (private limited company) and the letters BMW were included in the name in 1939. 936 – Establishment of the “Shadow Plant” Allach. BMW AG and BMW Flugmotorenbau GmbH established Flugmotorenfabrik Allach GmbH. Just one year later, they assigned their shares to Luftfahrtkontor GmbH Berlin, which secretly subsidised the BMW Plant Allach near Munich with government funding. By 1941, the plant had been significantly expanded for industrial production of aero-engines. 1939 – BMW takes over Brandenburgische Motorenwerke. Brandenburgische Motorenwerke GmbH (Bramo) in Berlin-Spandau, previously Siemens Apparate- und Maschinenbau GmbH, and BMW merged the development of air-cooled aero-engines.
One year later, shortly before the start of the Second World War, BMW took over Bramo and integrated the Spandau Plant as BMW Flugmotorenwerke Brandenburg GmbH into BMW AG. 1941 – BMW in World War II. During the Second World War, BMW was classified as a German armaments and war materials manufacturer, and devoted its resources almost exclusively to building aircraft engines for the German Air Force. Other plants were opened in addition to those in Munich and Eisenach. 1942 – Forced labour at BMW. BMW takes on its first foreign workers in 1940, employing them on the factory floor.
From 1942, convicts, Eastern European prisoners of war, and predominantly Western European forced labourers are made to work at BMW alongside concentration camp prisoners. As in the majority of German industries, the company’s management has a technocratic approach and is focused on efficiency. The use of forced labour is tacitly approved and accepted. During the Third Reich, forced labourers must work in deeply distressing conditions. Today, BMW is painfully aware of the great human suffering caused by this, and deeply regrets the fate of the forced labourers. 1945 – Reconstruction difficulties.
After the Second World War, allied soldiers requisitioned and occupied the BMW plants. Since BMW had been classified as an armaments company, the machines and tools were dismantled. From 1945 onwards stopgap production, mainly of kitchen utensils, was started in Milbertshofen – as was also the case at the Berlin plant. 1945 – The Munich plant is dismantled. In October 1945, the US military government issued a command for dismantling the BMW plants in Munich and Allach. This meant that BMW lost the power of disposal over its assets until 1949, and in Allach this loss of control in fact lasted until 1955.
A large proportion of the intact machines were dismantled at the Munich-Milbertshofen plant and shipped all over the world as reparations. 1948 – A motorcycle from nothing. The BMW R 24. The first BMW vehicle to take to the road after 1945 was the R 24 motorcycle, introduced in March 1948; it was a developed version of the pre-war R 23 model. Shortages of materials and machinery delayed series production until December 1948, but the sales success of the R 24 then exceeded all expectations, and 9,144 were sold in 1949 alone. 1951 – The BMW 501. The first post-war BMW automobile.
BMW’s first post-war automobile was the 501, built from 1952 onwards. A large saloon capable of seating up to six people, it was powered by a developed version of the six-cylinder engine used in the pre-war BMW 326. As a luxury car, the BMW 501 was not a commercial success, but it none the less restored BMW’s status as a manufacturer of high-quality, technically exciting cars. 1959 – BMW remains independent. As the 1950s progressed, the position of the company became increasingly precarious. At the end of 1959, Daimler-Benz submitted a restructuring offer for BMW subject to a time limit for acceptance.
But small shareholders and the workforce rejected this offer at the Annual General Meeting held on 9 December. Their perseverance and his confidence in the BMW 700 motivated Herbert Quandt to expand his package of shares. After the government provided some temporary financial assistance, BMW was restructured under Quandt’s management in the following year. 1961 – The New Class makes a breakthrough. BMW exhibited the 1500 model at the 1961 German Motor Show, and with it penetrated a gap in the market. This was the model that re-established BMW as a successful, modern carmaker.
The design of the four-door touring car immediately generates excitement, and orders far exceed production capacities. By 1963, the company is able to record a profit once more. 1967 – New location: the plant group Dingolfing. In the mid-1960s, the BMW Munich plant reached the limit of its capacity. BMW initially drew up plans for the construction of new facilities but then purchased crisis-ridden automotive company Hans Glas GmbH together with its locations in Dingolfing and Landshut. Both sites were restructured and the biggest BMW plant in the world was created at Dingolfing in the subsequent decades. 969 – Motorcycles to Berlin. BMW urgently needed more space at the Munich plant to meet the demands of expanding automobile production. In 1969, production of BMW motorcycles was therefore transferred to Berlin-Spandau. At the start of the 1970s, BMW launched a series of new models. The representatives of the /5 Series were the first BMW motorcycles to be manufactured completely at the Berlin-Spandau facility. 1970 – The Herbert Quandt Foundation. BMW AG founded the Herbert Quandt Foundation to celebrate the landmark 60th birthday of its major shareholder.
It developed into a foundation with an international reputation as a sponsor for transfer of knowledge and experience across the Atlantic. After the Cold War came to an end, the foundation also became an important platform for promotion of understanding between East and West, as well as within an expanded Europe. 1971 – BMW Kredit GmbH. BMW Kredit GmbH was set up as a new BMW subsidiary company to provide finance for the company’s own transactions and most importantly for the dealerships. The new company formed the foundation stone for the burgeoning finance and leasing business, which remains a crucial element in the company’s success.