Certainly one of the most recognizable brand names in luxury vehicles, the BMW has enjoyed great success and worldwide popularity since it was founded nearly a century ago. Over the years, the high quality, distinctive style and emphasis on luxury has separated BMW from the rest.
From its beginnings in 1916 as Bayerische Motoren Werke or Bavarian Motor Works, BMW began as a manufacturer of airplanes and parts in Munich, Germany. The famed BMW logo featuring what appears to be a propeller against a sky blue background supposedly originates from their manufacturing of aircraft, although that has come under some dispute in recent years.
For the next dozen years, BMW continued to manufacture aircraft, parts and even motorcycles until 1928 when they switched to automobiles with their first model, the Dixi. The Dixi was a sedan that was based on the Austin 7 and went on to enjoy considerable popularity. In 1929, the DA 1 Was released. Equipped with a 4 cylinder engine and boasting 15 hp, the DA1 helped to lead BMW into developing racing vehicles, such as the Type 328 Roadster which impressed those who viewed its performance.
Even before World War 2 began, BMW was pressed into service by producing aircraft engines because Germany was rearming for war. Although BMW mostly produced propeller-driven engines, they also produced the BMW 003 axial-flow turbojet which powered the Heinkel He 162, a jet-powered emergency fighter.
After the war, BMW returned to auto manufacturing with the release of the 501, a full size sedan that boasted a 6 cylinder engine, roomy interior and plenty of style. By 1954, the BMW 502 made its appearance at the Geneva Auto Show as the first V8 produced by a German company since before World War 2. BMW further pushed for success with the 1500, a more compact sedan featuring a 4 cylinder, 80 hp engine.
However, despite these efforts the late 1940s and 1950s saw the decline of BMW’s auto division which suffered from financial difficulties and by 1959 was in dire straits. Deciding to reinvest rather than liquidate, BMW set out to cash in on the economic boom which was helpful in selling more vehicles. That decision led to a renaissance for BMW as the 1970s approached.
There is little doubt that BMW benefitted tremendously during the 1970s. Having reinvested in its company by the end of the 1950s, BMW began advancing its brand again through the 1960s. By the beginning of the 1970s, BMW began releasing its most popular line of vehicles in its history up to that point.
The famed 3 Series, 5 Series and 7 Series all began during this decade along with the highly vaunted M Division. One aspect that greatly helped sales was the establishment of BMW of North America in 1975 which helped to greatly expand the marketplace for their vehicles which was eagerly sought by American consumers. The success BMW enjoyed in the 1970s helped propel the company through the rest of the century.
By the end of the 1990s, BMW began providing the Bentley automotive company with engines. This turned out to be an important move because Vickers, the company the owned Bentley and Rolls Royce was sold to Volkswagen. An agreement between the two Germans automakers led BMW to take over the Rolls Royce line in 2003.??
In 2004, the BMW X3 premiered which much fanfare as a compact, luxury crossover and the X5 is the midsize crossover vehicle that has garnered much attention as well. In addition to the X models, the 1 Series also made its debut in 2004. The 1 Series offers rear-wheel drive and a longitudinally-mounted engine which has helped keep BMW at the forefront of innovation.
High performance with luxury standards is the hallmark of BMW design. The use of advance technology has allowed BMW to stay at the forefront of auto design in terms of luxury and performance vehicles. All BMW models share in the smooth drivability, powerful performance and luxury style that has become a part of the BMW trademark. From the sporty 1 Series to the powerful M6, BMW stands for real accomplishment and flare when it comes to embracing technical advances.
BMW has also incorporated new materials into some of its vehicles such as carbon fiber which is stronger than steel, yet much lighter in weight and more impact resistant. This has led to BMW vehicles with greater overall performance and handling while positively affecting the gas mileage. New advances in LED lights which provide more illumination for the driver while pulling far less in electricity from the vehicle.
Despite worldwide slowdowns in the economy, sales of the BMW models have remained quite strong thanks to the high quality products and aggressive marketing campaign from this leader of innovation, luxury and style. Despite fierce competition from a variety of companies, BMW has managed to maintain its distinction at being one of the finest luxury auto manufacturers in the world.
For BWM owners, there is a wealth of BMW Accessories and Parts available which can improve the performance and appearance of your vehicle. These aftermarket parts are designed specifically for the BMW line and will fit many of the models that BMW produces.
From LED lights to carbon fiber parts, the aftermarket parts available for BMWs are certainly impressive and affordable. You can individualize your BMW by purchasing aftermarket parts that help augment the appearance and performance of your vehicle.