BMW is among the most recognized and established car brands in the entire continent. BMW has a rich and amazing history in the production of both city and executive cars. Originally, BMW began as three other manufacturing firms and ever since it has achieved the prestige brand that we love today.
The Beginning of Production
The three different manufacturing companies that BMW started as were: Bayerische Flugzeugwerke, Rapp Motorenwerke, and Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach. It was in April 1917 that it was named BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke GmbH). However, they began by producing aircraft engines. Their first aircraft engine production was the BMW IIIa. It had good performance in high altitudes and in fuel economy, which resulted in high demand from the German military.After World War I, BMW had to maintain its business by producing household items, railway bikes, and farm equipment. In 1923, they started the production of motorcycles with the R32 model being their first. The production of cars started in 1928 after BMW bought the Automobilwerk Eisenach car company.
During and After World War II
During World War Two, BMW continued to produce aircraft engines for the Luftwaffe. Their Munich plant used forced labor from prisoners of war, civilians, and inmates from concentration camps. Some engines like the BMW 003 and the BMW 13 turbojet achieved great success. It was during this war that the BMW factories were destroyed and their facilities seized by the Soviet Government. The facilities that remained were banned from production by the Allies.
After the World War, BMW made use of second-hand materials and salvaged equipment to make pans and pots and eventually kitchen supplies and bicycles. In 1947, they were given permission to continue producing motorbikes; the first was the R24. Production continued in 1952, with the first being the large sedan BMW 501. In the 1950s, they expanded their production to include sedans, sports cars, coupes, and convertibles.
Launching of the BMW 5 Series
The first BMW 5 Series was launched in 1972. The production line included a variety of mid-sized sedans that were a replacement of the New Class Sedans. This was later followed by the 3 series and the 6 series, which were introduced in 1975 and 1976 respectively. The 7 series was launched two years later while the 8 series was delayed until 1989.
The M division
Developed together with Lamborghini, the BMW M1 was introduced in 1978. The M1 was the first diesel engine made by BMW in 1983.
BMW and Rover Group
The British Rover Group was purchased by BMW in 1994. During this time, this comprised of Land Rover, Rover, MG and Mini. The ownership lasted for six years and a lot of brands were sold due to the huge losses incurred. Around 2001, BMW was still manufacturing models such as the E38 725tds, which was the first diesel-engine 7 series.
The BMW i Models
BMW i is a subdivision of BMW and was introduced in 2011. The objective was to build and manufacture plug-in electric vehicles. BMW i3 and BMW i8 were the first models. Their production began in 2013 and 2014 respectively. The BMW i3 was classified as the third best-selling electric car in the entire history of electric cars.
Since 2016, some electric BMW models have been launched. This includes models like the BMW 740e iPerformance and the BMW X5 xDriver40e iPerformance.
BMW’s goal is to expand its sales in electric models to around 25% by 2025. The company is still producing iconic, lavish cars that are driven by families as well as business executives. They’re selling a growing number of plug-in and electric hybrids.