BMW is known today as a leading luxury car manufacturer. It is especially known for its sports sedans and SUVs, as well as its motorcycles. Have you ever wondered how the brand got to be the global name it is today? Read on to discover the history of BMW.
In 1913, an aircraft engine manufacturer named Rapp Motorenwerke was established to make engines for nearby Bayerische Flugzeugwerke, an aircraft manufacturer. This partnership continued to produce aircraft throughout World War I. In 1917, Rapp Motorenwerke renamed itself Bayerische Motoren Werke or BMW. Upon renaming itself, it adopted the now-famous logo of BMW in a black circle surrounding the colors of the Bavarian flag.
As WWI came to an end, the company wound down its aircraft engine production. In 1921, it began to produce motorcycle engines before releasing the BMW R32 bike in 1923. Around the same time, the company took over Automobilwerk Eisenach. Together they produced the Dixi 3/15 before designing and manufacturing the 3/20, the first car fully designed by BMW, in 1932.
The company enjoyed some significant early success with vehicles such as the 328 and 335. During this time, BMW built a straight-six engine that it put in “M” marked versions of its cars. However, in the 50s and 60s, BMW came close to bankruptcy.
Between 1968 and 1978, BMW released the first generations of the 3 Series, 5 Series and 7 Series as well as a new straight-six engine. Many of these vehicles share many design cues that would be familiar today. In 1978, the company built its first car under the new “M” division, the M1. The M3 came later in 1985.
In 1999, the company released its first SUV, the X5. Since then, SUVs have continued to be a major part of the BMW lineup. Two years later, BMW released the first version of its iDrive infotainment system.
Between 2006 and 2013, BMW began using more turbocharged engines, a controversial shift away from its lauded naturally aspirated engines of the past. Since then, BMW has continued to improve on its formula as well as an experiment in hybrid and electric vehicles.
If you have a BMW and are around Austin, Texas, come to Northwest Import. We can help you with all your BMW repair and maintenance needs. Schedule an appointment online.