BMW History

A History of German Engineering

Take a walk through the timeline of one of the world’s leading car brands -- BMW!


Bayerische Flugzeugwerke AG, an aircraft engine manufacturer, was founded in Munich, Germany. The company was renamed Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW) in 1922.


The aircraft manufacturer found new footholds post-war and produced its first motorcycle, the BMW R 32.


BMW purchased Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach, giving them the rights to produce their first car. It was a rebadged Dixi called the BMW 3/15. From there on, BMW expanded their range of sports and luxury cars.


Germany was banned from creating planes and cars after World War II. BMW survived by switching to motorcycle production. In 1952, they began production on a luxury saloon in Bavaria.


The financial struggle after post-war reparations left BMW in a vulnerable position. They were nearly taken over by their rival Daimler-Benz, parent company to Mercedes-Benz. Herbert Quandt and Harald Quandt made huge investments in BMW to help them survive as their own entity. Fortunately, the BMW 700 was successful and helped the company’s recovery.


The BMW New Class was introduced. Compact sedans put them back in the minds of consumers as a leading manufacturer of sport cars. Expansion on the range included coupes and luxury sedans. The BMW 5 Series mid-size sedan range introduced in 1972, and subsequent 3 Series compact sedans in 1975 brought huge success. BMW 6 Series luxury coupes and 7 Series luxury sedans rounded out the offerings.


The BMW M division released its first road-legal car, a mid-engined supercar. The BMW M5 followed in 1984, then the BMW M3 in 1986.


The Z3 added a two-seat roadster to the BMW line-up. Before the turn of the century, the X5 brought the company into the growing SUV market.


The first mass-produced turbocharged petrol engine was introduced, leading the decade-long transition to turbocharging.


BMW entered a new age with their first hybrid -- the BMW ActiveHybrid 7 and electric car -- BMW i3.

Whether you drive a classic BMW or a brand new all-electric i3, Dave’s Ultimate Automotive in Central Austin, Texas can help you keep it in top condition!

Written by Dave's Ultimate Automotive