Bayerische Motoren Werke AG About this sound pronunciation (BMW; English: Bavarian Motor Works) is a German automobile, motorcycle and engine manufacturing company founded in 1917. BMW is headquartered in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. It also owns and produces the Mini marque, and is the parent company of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
The secret to their success does not lie in precise astrological predictions or mischievous and blatant employ of corporate espionage, but rather in a dedication to quality and constant pursuit of excellence. Unlike most of the auto manufacturers out there, BMW hasn't focused on a vehicle as a whole but started from its primary source of power, the engine, which has been perfected by generations of engineers over a close-to-a-century time span.
Rapp's company, 'Rapp-Motorenwerke' - that would later become BMW - focused mainly on aircraft engines due to the large demand at the time, fueled by the imminence of Wold War I. Despite the need for aircraft engines, Rapp failed to sale his powerplants due to a reliability flaw caused by unwanted engine vibrations.
The BMW german firm was founded in 1916 by Karl Rapp and Gustav Otto, and was named “Bavarian aircraft plants.” At that time nobody could have predicted that the aircraft manufacturer will turn into a cars’ giant.
The original 1986 BMW M3 (E30) was developed strictly for racing homologation purposes at first. A requisite 5,000 cars were to be built, in order for the car to compete in the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC)
BMW’s first motorcycle, the R32, debuted in 1923, and its Flat-Twin engine layout is still used in its current lineup. The BMW name is known for premium motorcycles that can go long distances, although its current offerings are also geared toward younger and faster riders.
BMW sold a total of 165,842 cars last month, a number that makes March 2011 the best month in the history of the German iconic brand. The number is well above the one recorded in the same month of last year (141,717 units) and bigger even than the best month on record until now, December 2007 (152,721 units)
Safety has always been an important topic at BMW. In the last 60 years, BMW continuously raised the bar: from the first crash-tests until the sophisticated security system in present BMW cars.
In recent years, BMW have temporarily owned a part of Roll Royce but this saw large scale legal wranglings and ended with Volkswagen taking control of Rolls Royce but BMW keeping the Bentley marque.
The M1 was BMW’s initial M badged car, and although racing continued to be the focus, the Motorsport division dropped a M1 engine in the 6-Series to make the M635CSi and the 5-Series to make the M535i.
The BMW Sauber team was established at the end of 2005 when the BMW company acquired the Sauber team. The new operation entered F1 in 2006 with chassis built at Sauber's headquarters in Hinwil, Switzerland, and engines built at BMW Motorsport in Munich.
BMW launched its marque brand MINI Cooper in India - its 100th market - at the Auto Expo in Delhi. Priced at upwards of Rs 24 lakh for its various models, the MINI has been rated as one of the best cars ever made.
“As Rapp grew into BMW, BMW assumed all the business segments, and the company wanted the logo to be oriented on Rapp’s logo. As you can see here on this example, Rapp has a black horse as a symbol on its logo. BMW chose the Bavarian national colours as a symbol, but arranged the letters exactly like Rapp. So you can see very clearly how the BMW logo was developed.”
— KAI JACOBSEN, AUTOMOBILE HISTORIAN, BMW GROUP