In the last century, BMW has evolved from a struggling maker of aviation engines to a producer of some of the most sought-after luxury cars on the planet.
Despite having lived through some of the worst periods in European history, the firm has emerged as a solid, reliable ambassador for top-notch German engineering and design.
It has undergone significant change as it evolved from a firm with only one modest manufacturing plant close to Munich to a multinational corporation with 30 production locations spread across 14 nations and four continents.
The group has expanded, taken on social causes, and grown to be one of the main sponsors of the professional game of golf.
BMW has shown that diversity is one of the finest strategies for overcoming hardship, and they will carry this philosophy into the future.
The history of BMW is chronicled in the following article, from its founding in 1917 to its current worldwide activities.
BMW Doubles Down On Battery and Plug-in Technologies
By stating this week that it will have 25 models available in showrooms by 2023, BMW is doubling down on electric vehicles.
It represents an industry-wide drive to bring more battery-electric cars, plug-in hybrids, and conventional hybrids to market two years earlier than the company’s initial goals.
The business has said that it expects sales of battery-powered cars to increase by 30% yearly by 2021, double their present sales.
Being an early adopter of battery technology, BMW has yet to catch up with some of its competitors but wants to catch up with the M Next plug-in and the all-battery-electric iNext.
According to Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President of BMW Group Design, a crucial component of the company’s objective is to create products that maintain the excellent performance of the company’s conventional goods.
Van Hooydonk says, “The BMW Vision M Next offers a view into the future of sporty driving.”
It exemplifies how cutting-edge technology may enhance the emotional impact and purity of the self-driving experience.
In 2013, the carmaker unveiled the i3, a city vehicle that runs entirely on electricity, and the i8, a plug-in hybrid sports car.
Since then, it has upgraded both but postponed introducing new goods under its BMW I sub-brand. The all-electric iNext concept and the M Next plug-in, shown last September, offer a clue as to what is in the works.
Both vehicles serve as mobile test beds for autonomous technologies and the automaker’s “electrified future,” as described by the manufacturer.
They may function as mobile living rooms where passengers can relax and forget the problems of navigating traffic when switched to hands-free mode.
But in manual mode, the M Next drives more like a vintage, performance-focused BMW, according to van Hooydonk.
According to BMW, the concept model’s total output of around 600 horsepower allows it to reach 62 mph in three seconds and a peak speed of 186 mph.
A “Boost” button is also available, which briefly improves performance.
The M Next, however, combines electric motors with a gasoline engine, unlike the all-electric iNext.
BMW is still determining how rapidly demand for all-electric cars will increase, similar to other manufacturers.
Company executives cite a need for a worldwide charging infrastructure and public mistrust. It anticipates such plug-in hybrids playing a significant role, at least shortly.
Officials in many large European cities, including London, have considered prohibiting automobiles from entering their downtown unless they are in zero-emission mode.
According to BMW, the M Next would automatically convert to battery power as soon as it approached specified urban areas.
The new battery-electric cars BMW wants to begin releasing next year, as well as impending plug-in hybrids, will be significantly influenced by both the Vision M Next and Vision iNext concepts, the carmaker stated.
Company representatives provided a sneak preview of the battery-electric technology that would power future goods earlier this year at a presentation in Palm Springs.
One example is vehicles with front-, rear-, or all-wheel drive configurations.
Additionally, because of its modular construction, they will be able to employ motors with more than 700 horsepower, outperforming even the most exotic “M” performance vehicles from BMW, including the renowned M3.
The Company Start:
In October 1913, Karl Friedrich Rapp established Rapp-Motorenwerke.
It was just a matter of time until World War One broke out, with the level of unrest in Europe at an all-time high.
Rapp sold airplane engines to fulfill the enormous demand at the time.
Rapp’s aircraft engines had an intrinsic fault that caused the engine to suffer undesired vibrations, despite the high demand for his services, and his company started to struggle.
During this period, Gustav Otto, the proprietor of an aircraft engine factory, was able to prosper.
Up until 1916, Rapp-Motorwerke managed to stay on for a while. During that trying time, Karl Rapp’s business was under severe financial pressure, and he was on the verge of surrendering.
Fortunately, the Prussian army placed an order with Rapp-Motorwerke for 600 aircraft engines, providing Rapp the push he needed to save his company from failing.
The Bayerische Flugzeug-Werke was finally founded because he cooperated with businessman Fran-Josef Popp and his financier Camillo Castiglioni (BFW).
It took a little while for BFW to become a BMW. The original BMW logo was designed in 1917. It featured white and blue, the colors of the Bavarian flag.
The logo experienced several alterations throughout the years but remained faithful to its beginnings by keeping the original blue and white hues.
To the renowned Oberwiesenfeld airport outside of Munich, BMW relocated their factory in 1922.
The headquarters for the whole BMW group would ultimately be located in this industrial plant.
The Munich headquarters still employs over 9,000 people and produces over 200,000 automobiles annually.
BMW had its first transformation in 1923 when it switched from producing aviation engines to motorbikes. The firm took a massive stride with this shift.
Up until the switch, BMW had only produced individual engines. They were now producing a whole vehicle.
They declared that the R32 would be the name of their first motorbike. The original 1923 idea is still employed today in BMW motorbikes since it was seen as effective.
After purchasing Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach, Germany’s third-largest automaker, BMW began working on its first vehicle.
BMW used the old Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach factory in Central Germany as its manufacturing facility rather than its Munich facility.
A borrowed design from the Austin Motor Company was the basis for BMW’s first produced car.
Up until 1932, BMW continued to use these methods before switching to using their models to develop cars that were solely their own.
II WORLD WAR
As World War II consumed Europe, BMW started producing war supplies for the German war machine.
It was rather typical at the time for companies like BMW to move to make war supplies. Most of Germany’s manufacturing facilities were now directly governed by the government as a result of the Nazi invasion of Poland.
During this time, BMW devoted all of its effort and resources to building airplanes and motorbikes for the German military.
All sides engaged displayed a darker side during World War II. BMW was no different.
Massive materials had to be produced and transported to the front lines to support the war effort.
BMW started hiring foreign employees in 1940 to meet the military’s continual manufacturing needs.
Most German males had been conscripted, leaving vacant manufacturing jobs that foreign laborers promptly filled.
However, these employees weren’t sufficient to meet the manufacturing timetable.
They started using Western European forced workers and POWs from bloody conflicts waged across Eastern Europe in 1942.
These individuals worked alongside detainees from several concentration camps run by the Nazis.
There was no other word to describe the situation in the facility. Everything else was seen as being subordinate in favor of efficiency. Humane working conditions were among them.
Because It’s factories contributed to the production of war supplies, the Allied troops destroyed them once the Nazi dictatorship was overthrown.
When BMW was virtually bankrupt and had no other choices left, they started making pots, pans, and other kitchenware to stay alive.
Worse yet, as part of Germany’s post-war reparations, the Munich facility was dismantled of its heavy equipment and sent abroad.
The Second World War came dangerously close to putting BMW out of business forever.
BMW would need to do all it could to continue business as it would only have factories or control over its activities in Germany in 1949.
After the War
BMW produced its first car after the start of the war in 1951, proving that it was a survivor.
The 501 was notable for its spacious interior, which had enough for six persons to sit comfortably. It was initially marketed as a high-end car, despite its eventual failure.
Despite being a failure, the 501 gave BMW a second chance and assisted in its return to its former position as a top automaker.
It was well known for its excellent production standards and integration of cutting-edge technology into its vehicle lines.
Up until 1958, when BMW decided to stop producing it, the 501 was in production.
In 1959, Daimler-Benz made a bid to purchase BMW. The BMW shareholders made the decision to turn down the offer at year’s end.
Thanks to financial support from a recovering German government, BMW was able to restructure under new management.
The company had put in 15 years of effort to get where they were, and they weren’t about to give up easily.
Growth and Prosperity
Up to now, BMW has endured two world wars and emerged more potent than ever. Now that there was no longer a conflict to endanger its survival, BMW grew during the 1960s and 1970s.
The main goal for BMW was expansion. They achieved their objective in several ways. When BMW Kredit was established in 1971, the company’s expansion phase started.
BMW at the time required a company to fund its expansion, which included assisting the increasing number of BMW shops worldwide.
Ultimately, BMW Kredit contributed to the growth and development of the vehicle leasing industry, which was only starting at the time.
Just beginning to warm up was BMW. In Rosslyn, a town close to Pretoria in South Africa, they started erecting their first production facility abroad in 1972.
After the installation, it employed over 1,700 people and produced more than 53,000 BMW 3 series vehicles annually.
Times were unclear since South Africa was still recuperating from the effects of Apartheid.
That made it careful to pass anti-discrimination legislation and provide its employees with a living wage.
It supported the neighborhood schools while collaborating with regional organizations. The business established its newest BMW Motorsport subsidiary in 1972.
With a reputation for upholding high standards, BMW Motorsport had started to receive praise for the strength and caliber of its cars.
Due to its increasing popularity, BMW changed its business plan and began making sports cars for the general public.
After the phenomenal success of the BMW Motorsport division, additional lines such as the BMW Mountains, Yachtsport, and Golfsport started to release premium performance-based cars on the market.
The term “BMW” has come to represent luxury throughout the years. BMW established itself as one of the central pillars of the auto industry with its lineups of sedans and sports vehicles.
Among other things, the market appreciated their attention to detail. BMW was renowned for its audacity and creativity.
For instance, BMW created the first facility of its sort in the automotive sector, a Research and Innovation Center, in Munich in 1990.
An army of engineers, managers, scientists, designers and other creative employees worked together to produce luxurious, top-of-the-line automobiles at the factory.
BMW ultimately opened an office in the United States in 1994.
It’s most recent shift allows the corporation to produce automobiles near its largest customer and expand its worldwide operations.
The first facility, constructed in Spartanburg, South Carolina, was only used to produce the Z3 roadster. The factory still makes the Z3 and the X3, X5, and X6.
It also bought the Rover Group, a British company, in 1994. The Mini, Mg, and Land Rover are among the most well-known sports cars produced by the Rover Group.
BMW once had grand ambitions for the Rover Group, but in 2000, they sold the organization while maintaining the Mini model for their use.
The desire to acquire other automakers continued. BMW acquired the Rolls-Royce group in 1998.
They were successful in acquiring both the ownership of the brand and the naming rights for Rolls-Royce automobiles.
A New Century
BMW has proven that it is a strong, dynamic organization with a desire to continue to exist by making it through two world wars.
As the new century started, BMW focused again on expanding and altering. By constructing a facility specifically for producing the car, the business put the final survivor of the Rover Group,
The Mini, to work. Over time, the Mini experienced tremendous growth in ubiquity. Production had to be increased by 150% to keep up with demand.
BMW grew its worldwide empire even further by establishing three additional factories.
A message was being sent, and it was evident and audible: BMW wasn’t leaving anytime soon.
In 2003, a Rolls-Royce facility in Goodwood began operations. A new plant was soon operational in Shenyang, China.
In Leipzig, Germany, the last facility finally began operations.
Following its debut, the newest German plant—hailed as an architectural marvel—won the German Architecture Award for the year.
BMW is still focusing on the future with a focus on growth, technology, and profitability.
The aspirational automaker has said that by 2020, they want to be the top producer of premium vehicles worldwide.
Choosing a BMW cover can shield your vehicle from threats like scratches, dust, environmental deterioration, UV radiation, and other things that might lead to premature wear.
Additionally, look at BMW 328i and 5 Series vehicle coverings. BMW has had a difficult path to go from its beginning.
They have persisted during some of the most trying times in human history. BMW never wavered and remained committed to expanding its enterprise.
BMW has reached new heights as one of the top luxury car companies in the world thanks to the 21st century’s introduction of a more substantial, quicker, and leaner organization than ever before.