BMW — All Car History Volume 16

BMW -- All Car History Volume 16

BMW -- All Car History Volume 16

BMW is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of quality cars and motorbikes and is the parent company of the MINI and Rolls-Royce car brands. The acronym BMW stands for „Bayerische Motoren Werke“ – or „Bavarian Motor Works“ in English.

BMW models are categorised based on what „Series“ the car model is, for example, the 3 Series. BMW has a long history in motor racing, having been involved in motorsport since the creation of the first BMW motorcycle.

BMW was founded in 1913 to make aircraft engines, shifting to motorbike production in 1923 and cars in 1929. Its factories were damaged during WWII and machine tools were confiscated by the Allies. BMW gradually recovered and in 1967 bought company Hans Glas GmbH, one of whose plants was to become the largest BMW factory.

BMW bought the Rover Group in 1994, selling MG, Rover & Land Rover in 2000 but retaining the rights to build the new MINI, launched in 2001.


Type: Public company
Founded: 1913
Headquarters: Munich, Germany
Key People: Dr. Norbert Reithofer, Chairman
Industry: Automotive
Products: Automobiles, Motorcycles
Subsidiaries: MINI, Rolls-Royce


BMW 3 SERIES – a compact executive car made since 1975, the BMW 3 Series has been produced over five different generations and many different bodystyles. It is BMW’s best selling car

BMW 5 SERIES – a mid-size luxury car made since 1972, the BMW 5 Series is now in its fifth generation and is made in both saloon and touring body styles

BMW M3 – a high performance version of the compact BMW 3-Series

BMW M5 – a high-performance version of the BMW 5-Series made by
BMW Motorsport

BMW X3 – a compact luxury SUV advertised by BMW as an SAV, or ‚Sport Activity Vehicle‘ based on the BMW 3-Series platform

BMW X5 – a mid-sized luxury SUV sold by BMW since 1999, featuring four-wheel


In 1956, the BMW 507 sports car was introduced but only a total of 252 were built. Most of the work was carried out by hand and the cars were individually customised to meet each buyer’s wishes

The BMW Z3 was introduced in 1996 shortly after being featured in the James Bond film „GoldenEye“

In the 1990s BMW returned to making aircraft engines in a joint venture with Rolls Royce PLC

In 1992, BMW outsold Mercedes for the first time in Europe

In 2001, BMW introduced a BMW Films website, showing its sporty models being driven to extremes, but took the website offline in October 2005. The short films were directed by the likes of Guy Ritchie

By: Luke Scott

Article Directory:


Auto Trader World of Cars, Main Fact Finder Index (Published: October 17, 2008 – Image: