Brief History About BMW
BMW (Bavarian Motor Works) was founded in Germany in 1916 by Franz Josef Popp, Karl Rapp and Camillo Castiglioni. Previous to this, BMW was part of Rapp Motorenwerke aircraft, who built aircraft engines. In 1923 BMW started to build motorcycles followed by cars in 1928. Their first car was based on the Austin 7 and called the Dixi.
During the 30’s BMW moved back to building aircraft engines as well and built many engines for German WW2 aircraft.
After the war BMW returned to building production motorcycles in 1948, followed by its first post-war car the BMW 501, built in 1951. However, during the 50’s BMW, like many automotive manufacturers were having some financial difficulties, so a decision was made to build small cars (ISO Isetta based) and put their motorcycle engine in them.
In 1961 BMW built and had much success with their BMW 1500 4 door saloon and started to make a profit again. BMW also purchased Hans Glas in 1966, a small German car maker, which gained them a much needed boost with a new factory and skilled staff.
With successful sales, BMW creates BMW Motorsports in 1972, builds a new HQ and museum in Munich in 1973 and a new engine plant in Steyr, Austria in 1979.
During the 80’s more divisions and buildings are built, as the growth continues.
Into the 90’s and BMW acquires several other companies, including Rolls-Royce and Rover (which included Land Rover, MG, Austin and Morris), but due to losses from Rover, sold that concern on, but retained the rights to build the Mini, which they did from 2001.
To this day BMW is considered by many to be the benchmark in car manufacture in the automotive industry, with success in both road and track.
(See Mini for the BMW Mini)