The History of BMW – This is How BMW Became a Giant

the history of BMW

If you are interested about learning the history of BMW, you are at the correct place. yes, we are bringing you unheard stories about world-famous automobile manufacturer company, BMW.

BMW is an automobile company. The company name BMW is an acronym for Bayerische Motoren Werk GmbH. The translation of BMW is Bavarian Engine Works Company. 

Since the company’s origin is Germany, the Bavarian present in the BMW translation is a state in Germany where the company was founded. The name also depicts BMW’s product quality for engines with wider applications in view. 

BMW was founded by an aircraft engine manufacturing company Bayerische Flugzeugwerke AG (BFW). Bayerische Flugzeugwerke AG was later renamed BMW in 1922. However, the BMW acronym is traced back to 1913 as used by the founding company. 

The founders of BMW include Camillo Castiglioni, Franz Josef Popp, and Karl Rapp. 

The first BMW aircraft produced was during World War I, and it was the straight-six aircraft engine which the company called BMW IIIa.  Also, during World War I, BMW diversified into producing agricultural equipment, railway brakes, motorcycle engines, household items, and so on. In 1923, BMW produced its first motorcycle called BMW R20. 

The History of BMW: Automobile Production 

In 1928, BMW became a manufacturer of automobiles after the company was purchased by Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach. The first vehicle produced by BMW was BMW 3/15. In the 1930s, BMW started producing sport and luxury cars. 

BMW continued producing automobiles, aircraft engines, and motorcycles until the Second World War. During the Second World War, BMW halted the production of automobiles and concentrated only on the production of motorcycles and aircraft engines. Before World War II, automobiles have not gotten many production breakthroughs. You will have to go by train if you want to travel a long distance by road. 

BMW Went Low

During the Second World War, BMW’s factory was bombed heavily. BMW’s remaining facilities were banned from producing motor vehicles and aircraft engines after the war. However, to survive the situation, BMW started producing pans, pots, bicycles, and so on. 

the history of BMW

The Second Birth

BMW continued in the production of household utensils, bicycles, and so on until 1948, when the company began to manufacture motorcycles again. Not long after, BMW began the manufacturing of automobiles again. The first automobile manufactured at that time was the BMW501 luxury saloon car. After that, BMW’s range of car manufacturing expanded. 

Soon after in 1955, BMW began to manufacture cheaper Isetta microcars. However, due to the low-profit margins from the automobiles that were manufactured, BMW was in a financially tight corner. 

It was Herbert Quandt and Jerald Quandt who invested immensely into BMW that kept the company from bankruptcy and packing out of the market. BMW manufactured the BMW 700and the model was a huge success. Profits from the sales of BMW 700helped the company recover a great deal from its financial difficulties. 

Next Level

BMW’s reputation began to spread as a result of manufacturing sport-oriented cars. BMW diversified in the 1960s by adding luxury sedans and coupe models of automobiles to its manufacturing list. It was at that time the BMW 5 Series was introduced. The manufacturing of the BMW 5 Series paved the way for the BMW 3 Series compact sedans in 1975. BMW 6 Series luxury coupes were manufactured in 1976 and 1978, BMW released the BMW 7 Series. The BMW 7 was a large sedan saloon car. 

BMW continued manufacturing new car models, which included the BMW M5, BMW M3, to the 12-powered engine 750i luxury sedan. 

It is not surprising that in 1994, BMW bought the Rover Group. However, the purchase was not favoring BMW in terms of profit as the company was incurring great financial losses running the Rover Group. Later in 2000, BMW decided to sell off some Rover brands only to retain the Mini and Rolls-Royce. 

Now, BMW markets its automobiles under Mini and Rolls-Royce brands. 

In 1994, BMW successfully set up a sales outlet in the United States. The successful move afforded BMW to expand its worldwide operations. Also, the move allowed BMW to start producing cars for the United States’ biggest numerous customers. It was at that time BMW built its first plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Since the Z3roadster was mainly sold in the United States, the plant was dedicated to the mass production of Z3. Added to the Z3 series, the plant has added X3, X5, and X6 at the plant until this present time. 

The History of BMW: New Century Development 

In 2006, BMW shocked the world by releasing their first turbocharged petrol engine. The turbocharged petrol engine was mass-produced, which gained more popularity by the next decade. It was in 2010 that BMW released the BMW Active Hybrid 7. BMW released its first electrified car, called BMWi3, in 2013. 

The History of BMW: Logo and Meaning

BMW has a circular logo that comprises blue and white colors. The present logo evolved from the Rapp Motorenwerke GmbH to what it is today. The logo has undergone several revisions and improvements. 

The first change on the logo was in October 1917, which bore Rapp’s tradition with a black ring surrounding the company’s logo. The logo reviewed in 1933 and again in 1953. In 1963, the logo was again modified. Again in 1979, the logo was revised, and lastly, in 2020. The 2020 revision completely removed the black ring surrounding the company’s logo.

The white and blue colors indicate the colors of the Bavaria state in Germany, Bavaria is the home of BMW. 

The History of BMW: Company Slogan

BMW’s slogan reads: “The Ultimate Driving Machine.” The slogan was first used in 1947 in North America.

There is the myth that says that the BMW logo depicts a propeller. This propeller myth began through an ad released by the company in 1929. 

Current Models of BMW

1 series with a five-door hatch-backs vehicle.

2 series with two-door coupes vehicle.

3 series with four-door sedans.

4 series two-door coupes vehicle.

And so on. 

Things you should also know about BMW

BMW produced the “The Hire” series of short films in 2001 and 2002. Later in 2016, another series of the same film was released. 

BMW in July 2010 made a six-year partnership deal with the United States Olympic Committee for sponsorship. They also sponsored numerous golf events, including the PGA Championship.

BMW was for the first time named the world’s company for most sustainable automotive manufacturing by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index since 1999. 

In 2018 only, BMW sold 26,858 electric vehicles worldwide, which include EVs, PHEVs, and Hybrids.


More on read the history of Toyota, here.


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