BMW is a brand associated with performance, quality, and excellence in engineering; with a history spanning over a century in length, it’s easy to see why BMW is one of the most trusted brands on the market. The company has its roots in the airplane engine industry, but as BMW developed into one of the most prominent luxury brands in the auto industry, it cemented a place for itself in history.
After struggling financially following World War I, the company that would become BMW was bought by investors and merged with Bayerische Motoren Werke in 1918. By this time, BMW already had its first logo in place, created in 1917 and featuring the Bavarian state colors: blue and white. Then, in 1928, BMW entered the automobile industry officially when it purchased the company that was making the Wartburg, the third-ever motor car to be produced in Germany.
By this time, BMW had already been moving away from airplane engines to work on motorcycles, but its purchase of the Wartburg signaled a new era of motor cars. This was temporarily upset in the 1940s when the company was drafted into war efforts; following this period, BMW rebounded and produced its first automobile since the war in 1951. Called the 501, it could comfortably seat six people and re-established BMW as a leading manufacturer in the industry.
BMW restructured in 1960, ushering in a period characterized by growth and prosperity. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, BMW began building plants and factories overseas. The emerging popularity of automobile leasing also contributed to BMW’s success as people were financially able to lease luxury cars temporarily.
In 1972, BMW launched BMW Motorsports, finally participating in races on the track. Over the following decades, the company continued to grow and contribute new innovations and more capable, luxurious vehicles. It continues to be a name associated with success and dependability today.