Bayerishce Motoren Werken or Bavarian Motor Works in English has risen over the years to become one of the popular luxury and sports cars. BMW began with Karl Rapp who in the early years incorporated the Rapp Motorenwerke near Oberweisenfeld. Initially BMW was used to manufacture aircrafts and had contracts with Gustav Otto and Austro-Daimler to make V12 engine for its airplanes.
With considerable success in the aircraft engine industry, the company was renamed to BMW in 1916. It was also during this time that the company came under the supervision of Franz Josep Popp. In a few weeks, Mar Friz became the chief engine designer a new aircraft engine known as the BMW IIIa was launched. The engine became very successful and the company soon became widely known as BMW. It was also at this time that the company’s first black and white logo was created.
But BMW would not get into the production of vehicles until 1923 with the manufacture of the company’s first motorcycle. The new venture proved quite popular as the sales of the motorcycle increased over the years. In 192, BMW began the manufacture of automobiles. The first car they produced was known as the BMW Dixi.
BMW 1930 -1960
In the 1930s BMW produced the Wartburg DA3 which became widely successful. In the same decade the company attempted to add a new front axle on both the Wartburg and the Dixi models. But this experiment was not successful with many of the prototypes ending up totaled in various accidents. But in 1933, the company came out with another highly successful 303 model which also featured the new M78 engine.
More models followed the 303 in the 30s including the 326, 320, 329, 327 and the highly popular 328 Brescia Grand Prix. During the war, BMW shifted to the manufacture of military vehicles. The first post war vehicle that the company launched was the widely popular 501 in the early 50S.
The even more popular BMW 502 V8 super made its debut in 1954. It was also at this time that BMW began eyeing the rest of the world with a more global marketing approach. This was clearly demonstrated by the production of the first BMW muscle car, the 507 which quickly became BMWs top seller.
The 60s were incredibly successful for BMW. Demand for their vehicles had grown exponentially that the company had to move its production to a larger plant in Berlin. Bu the 70s, BMW had also begun production of vehicles in South Africa.
During this time the BMW Motorsport GmBH was also founded and so was the BMW museum of aircraft engines and vehicles. The widely popular 5 series, 7 series and 6 series were also launched in this time period and are still in production today.
BMW 1980 to Date
In the 1980s the company began production in Ragensburg and at the same time also expanded its reach to span the whole world. In the 90s BMW successfully entered the US market having purchased the British Rover Group. This acquisition meant that the Land Rover and Mini brands were all under BMW as were other dormant brands like the Triumph, Riley, Morris and Austin and Wolseley.
By the early 2000s BMW took over MINI and Rolls Royce and introduced the very popular 1 series. Understanding that the Chinese market could not be ignored, the company set up a plant in Shenyang in a joint venture with the Chinese government. By 2013, the all new I3 was launched, firmly cementing the company in the race towards the production of the electric cars.
Over the years, BMW has established a firm grip on luxury vehicle manufacturing around the world. With a presence everywhere in the world, the company has become a household name as more and more people become familiar with its top brands. Recently, the company also added four new dimensions including the BMW Motorrad, BMW I, BMW Motorsport and the MINI. With a yearly output of 2,117,965 cars and 120,000 motorcycles, it is easy to see how BMW will remain a top contender in the motor industry.
Check out our collection of BMW plates for all BMW models and motorcycles.