History of BMW: From Aircraft Engines to Race Cars - SafeLink

History of BMW: From Aircraft Engines to Race Cars

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, translated in English as Bavarian Motor Works, abbreviated as BMW. This German company is known for producing luxury vehicles. When this company was founded, they did not produce motorized vehicles but aircraft engines. According to archival records, the Bavarian Motor Works company first produced motorbikes in 1923, and cars in 1928/29.

History of the BMW Company
During World War I and II
After the end of the First World War, several European countries, including Germany, were prohibited from producing aircraft and engines. This made all other German automotive manufacturers shift their production base. BMW chose to produce land vehicles, namely cars and motorbikes. The first motorcycle in production was the BMW R32 in 1923. BMW’s first production car was the Dixi DA in 1928.

BMW 1923 - 1931Germany was again allowed to produce aircraft engines for the German air force (Luftwaffe) after the then German chancellor. Adolf Hitler initiated military aggression into European regions which led to the Second World War. Bavarian Motor Works developed 2 fighter aircraft engines, namely the BMW 801 and the BMW 003 jet engine.

Although the focus is on producing aircraft engines, the manufacturer continues to produce cars and motorbikes. During the Second World War, by producing several cars, namely the BMW 3 / 15PS (Dixi), BMW 3 / 20PS, BMW 303, BMW 321, and BMW 335. BMW also initiated their sports car products, namely the BMW 327 and BMW 328.

After the Second World War ended in 1945, factories stopped producing aircraft engines, and it was also prohibited to produce vehicles, both cars and motorbikes. Not only that, at the end of the Second World War, the BMW factory in Munich was destroyed by a bomb explosion. To stay afloat during this ban, this German luxury car brand has produced household appliances and bicycles.

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In the late ’40s, the production ban disappeared and BMW began producing motorized vehicles again. It took about 4 years for the company to return to producing cars. During the 50s, BMW produced 4 models, namely the BMW 502, BMW 600, and BMW 507. In addition, BMW produced a small 3-wheeled car that was very popular at that time, namely the Isetta.

Post World War I and II
BMW had experienced difficult financial conditions due to debt and decreased sales since the mid-50s, this is BMW’s bitter history. The only successful product at that time was the BMW Isetta, while other products did not sell because they were too expensive. BMW was then able to get out of the crisis in 1960 after German industrialist Herbet Quandt became the majority shareholder.

BMW 1953 - 1965Under the control of the Quandt family, the company continued production of small cars such as the BMW 700 small sedan. The company undertook technology development for its products. In 1968 BMW introduced the New Six which later became the BMW 6 Series until now. Then launched the 5 Series in 1972. BMW then introduced their small sedan, the 3 Series in 1975.

Throughout the decade of 90, various innovations were continued, one of which was the emergence of the X series, an SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle). The first product of this series was the X5 in 1999. Although there were doubts because it produced vehicles other than sedans. Division X then slowly became known as the identity of a comfortable and sophisticated SUV.

In 1995, BMW fully acquired a design studio company called Designworks USA. Then in 1994 bought the British auto company the Rover Group (Rover, Land Rover, MG, Austin and Morris) and owned it for 6 years. However, he returned to the market in 2000 to the Phoenix Consortium, having suffered heavy losses.

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The BMW Brand Philosophy and Logo
The BMW (Bavarian Motor Works) logo consists of a thick black circle bearing the inscription of BMW. It has white and blue in the center of the symbol. According to company archives this logo was first recorded in company archives in 1917. However, this logo first appeared to the public when BMW launched their first motorcycle in 1923.

The influence of this logo cannot be separated from the early history of BMW, namely the company’s original logo when it was still called Rapp Motorenwerke. However, some changes that are not very significant can be seen by removing the image of the black horse with the color of the Bavarian (Bavarian) national flag. At first glance, it is still clear that the BMW writing order is similar to the Rapp Motorenwerke logo.

BMW Brand LogoSome writings in other articles argue that this logo is inspired by aircraft propellers is just a myth. BMW says that this perception was formed because of the cover of the BMW aircraft engine magazine magazine in 1929. Not many changes have occurred to the BMW logo, they and the basic elements of the original logo remain clearly visible.

BMW Car Brand with the World of Racing
Since the launch of the BMW 328 in 1936, the German automotive manufacturer’s reputation has begun to take shape as a sports vehicle. This is in line with the success of winning several championships, such as the BTCC, French Supertouring Championship, Super Tourenwagen Cup, Italian Superturismo and Australian Super Touring Championship. Throughout its history, BMW cars and motorbikes have been successful in various motorsport activities.

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BMW Supertouring ChampionshipDespite brand efforts, many private racing teams enter the championship using BMW cars in Touring auto racing. BMW also supplies engines for Formula One, Formula Two and sportscar racing. This German brand is active in ALMS, World Tour Car Championship (WTCC), Isle of Man TT, North West 200, Superbike World Championship and Master Deutsche Tourenwagen.

The McLaren F1 team, which set the world record for “fastest production car in the world” on March 31, 1998. As well as achieving the Guinness Book of World Records record for the longest continuous drift (See Under “Guinness Book of World Records”) using engines from this luxury car manufacturer.

Apart from the sweet history in the racing world that has increased the popularity of the BMW brand as a sports car. BMW is starting to take concrete steps to play a role in environmental sustainability. This is done by awareness of the bad influence of fossil fuel engines on the environment. BMW began to focus on designing environmentally friendly vehicles since 2013. This is the forerunner of the birth of the BMW i series, with the first product being the BMW i3 followed by the BMW i8.