A Little BMW History
Over the last 100 years, BMW has transformed from an airplane engine company to being the manufacturer of some of the most highly coveted luxury vehicles in the world.BMW was the product of three manufacturing companies that became Bayerische Motorenwerke in 1917. Rapp Motorenwerke and Bayerische Flugzeugwerke were separate companies until the year 1918 until they were merged into a new public limited company. In 1918, Rapp Motorenwerke had been restructured and taken on the name BMW when it absorbed the struggling Bayerische Flugzeugwerke (BFW).
The first BMW logo was created in 1917, and it includes the colors blue and white which are the Bavarian state colors. The logo was reimagined several times throughout the years, but it still retained its basic form – including the blue and white colors.
Many people believe that the alternating colors in a circle are an interpretation of an airplane propeller. In fact, the BMW logo was an interpretation of Karl Rapp’s former logo. The letters ‘BMW’ are arranged similarly to how Rapp’s original logo was designed.
In 1923, BMW expanded its operations from airplane engines to motorcycles. They announced their first motorcycle that would be called the R32.
This was a big step for the company because it has previously only made motor engines and not entire vehicles. BMW created a motorcycle design that was so efficient that the 1923 concept plan is still used in modern BMW motorcycles.
In 1928, BMW began working on their first car after they purchased Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach, the third automobile manufacturer established in Germany. Cars were not produced in the Munich production center. Instead, the company continued to use the former Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach plant located in Thuringia region of Central Germany. The first car manufactured by BMW was a design borrowed from the Austin Motor Company. It was not until 1932 that BMW utilized its own designs and built its first car.