BMW has come a long way from its beginnings as an aircraft engine manufacturer to become one of the most popular family, luxury and sports car manufacturers today.

The company began in 1913 as the Rapp-Motorenwerke firm, making aircraft engines, before merging with the Bayerische Flugzeugwerke factory, located near the outskirts of Munich, in 1922. The letters BMW stand for Bayerische Motoren Werke.

In its early days, BMW primarily manufactured aircraft engines and occasionally motorcycle engines. In fact, the BMW badge was designed to look like an airplane propeller, and it wasn’t until 1929 that the company became a car manufacturer after buying the Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach factory that produced Austin Sevens.

Developing the style of automobiles manufactured over time, in 1936 BMW began producing the 328 sports car, which enjoyed incredible success. In 1999, the BMW 328 was nominated for Car of the Century.

During the three years leading up to World War II, BMW manufactured aircraft, motorcycle, and automobile engines. During the war, the company focused on aircraft engines and stopped making cars altogether. In 1948, motorcycle manufacturing began again, but it wasn’t until 1952 that BMW began making cars once again. However, the launch of the luxury car BMW 501 was not a great success and as a result the company did not make a profit, so the company brought the design and manufacturing rights to the Isetta, a microcar, cheap to manufacture. and started selling them.

BMW’s fortunes changed over the next decade and the 1960s brought considerable success for the company. The BMW 1500, a four-cylinder sports car, was introduced in 1961, followed shortly by the BMW 2002, a two-door car that remained in production until 1976 and was the predecessor to the BMW 3 Series.

The 1970s saw BMW continue to build its reputation for creating original and sought-after cars, as this decade saw the launch of the 3, 5 and 7 Series. Between 1970 and 1993, BMW quadrupled its production and turnover by an incredible 1700%. .

Between 1994 and 2000, BMW was owned by the British Rover group, but the company was unsuccessful and the company soon divested from Rover. However, BMW retained the rights to Mini and have enjoyed, and continue to enjoy, considerable success with this business.

Today, BMW is seen as an innovative manufacturer and has a reputation for excellence, both for its design and the quality of its cars.