BMW is the premiere vehicle manufacturing company in the world. Originally from Germany having a customer base all over the world. It’s a symbol of style, power & comfort, since 1916.
This popular brand has been ruling the vehicle industry for around a century. Did you know what does BMW stands for? BMW in German: Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, Bavarian Motor Works. The official BMW logo has its roots in the Bavaria flag.
Initially, they started manufacturing aircraft engines. After World War I, they began manufacturing motorcycles. The BMW R 32 was the first motorcycle manufactured in 1923.
The first product by BMW was a six-cylinder water-cooled aircraft engine. It played a vital role in the further development of the company. They kept producing aircraft engines in the era of WWII.
First BMW Car
The first BMW 303 car was manufactured in 1933 having a six-cylinder engine. The platform developed for BMW 303 was used for several other cars too.
The straight six-cylinder engine was developed from the four-cylinder engine used in the 3/20. The BMW entered into the automobile business with Dixi 3/15.
First Electric Car
The first electric car by BMW formulated based on the model 1602e of 1972. Today’s marvelous electric BMWs are conceived from the long research of over 5 decades since 1972.
They were way ahead of the world in the electrification of vehicles.
There is a BMW museum in Munich, Germany. Established in 1973 shows technical developments throughout the history of BMW. The exhibition space of 5000 meters has a capacity of presentations around 120 exhibits.
BMW & Rolls-Royce
BMW owns the Rolls-Royce. The well-known brand Rolls-Royce is the subsidiary of BMW. The BMW acquired the rights to Rolls-Royce brand name and logo from Rolls Royce plc in 1998.
They manufacture and market motorcycles under the division BMW Motorrad. They started producing motorcycle engines after World War I.
They achieved big excellence in motor vehicle manufacturing during World War II by producing BMW R75 motorcycle with an attached motor-driven sidecar.
The BMW Turbo Released in 1972 had incorporated modern vehicle safety innovations like renewable crumple zones, radar distance sensors, and ABS; way before initiation of the industry standards.
The E25 turbo concept sports car was designed by Paul Bracq for BMW as a celebration for Summer Olympics in 1972. Later this turbo feature was used on M1 & the Series 8, Z and M1 Homage cars. The turbocharged feature was based on a modified 2002 chassis with a mid-mounted engine.
BMW & World War II
In 1945, at the time of the 2nd world war, they manufactured about 30000 aircraft engines and more than 500 BMW 003 jet engines. The forced labor, such as prisoners were utilized in order to accomplish this huge production.
First Financial Setback
People only see the good days of someone. But, only the warrior knows the true value paid for success. We see the successful BMW. But, did you know they have been leading industry for over 100 years. And throughout history, they might have faced many challenges and negative market conditions.
BMW received its first financial setback in 1959. Many vehicles were sold at a lower profit margin. Some products were too expensive to be profitable. Actually, they sold their Allach plant to MAN SG (a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG).
The then chairman of the BMW Supervisory Board, Dr. Hans Feith decided to get merged with Daimler-Benz, at an annual general meeting held on December 9, 1959.
Merger with Daimler-Benz
The community of distributors and small shareholders protested and made statements against this decision which prevented a possible merger. At that time, the major shareholders like Herbert and Harald Quandt increased their investments and became the largest shareholders (2/3 of BMW shares in November 1960).
In 1960, BMW introduced the Neue Klasse / New Class project, focusing on a four-door sedan in 1962, which saved the company financially. With this introduction, BMW gained a good reputation in the sports car market.
The BMW has been using the slogan, “The Ultimate Driving Machine”, since 1974. BMW headquarters are designed like their four-cylinder engine.
They’ve been a leader in innovation and enhancements. We’ve just seen a small history of BMW’s big empire.
This YouTube video by Telegraph has some interesting things about BMW, please have a quick look.