Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (info) (BMW), (English: Bavarian Motor Works) is a German automobile, motorcycle and engine manufacturing company founded in 1916. It also owns and produces the MINI brand, and is the parent company of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. BMW is known for its performance and luxury vehicles.

Company history
BMW Headquarters in Munich, Germany

After World War I, BMW was forced to cease aircraft (engine) production by the terms of the Versailles Armistice Treaty. The company consequently shifted to motorcycle production in 1923 once the restrictions of the treaty started to be lifted, followed by automobiles in 1928-29.

The circular blue and white BMW logo or roundel is portrayed by BMW as the movement of an aircraft propeller, to signify the white blades cutting through the blue sky – an interpretation that BMW adopted for convenience in 1929, twelve years after the roundel was created.The emblem evolved from the circular Rapp Motorenwerke company logo, from which the BMW company grew, combined with the white and blue colors of the flag of Bavaria, reversed to produce the BMW roundel.

BMW's first significant aircraft engine was the BMW IIIa inline-six liquid-cooled engine of 1918, much preferred for its high-altitude performance.[citation needed] With German rearmament in the 1930s, the company again began producing aircraft engines for the Luftwaffe. Among its successful WWII engine designs were the BMW 132 and BMW 801 air-cooled radial engines, and the pioneering BMW 003 axial-flow turbojet, which powered the tiny, 1944-45-era jet-powered "emergency fighter", the Heinkel He 162 Salamander. The BMW 003 jet engine was tested in the A-1b version of the world's first jet fighter, the Messerschmitt Me 262, but BMW engines failed on takeoff, a major setback for the jet fighter program until successful testing with Junkers engines.

By 1959 the automotive division of BMW was in financial difficulties and a shareholders meeting was held to decide whether to go into liquidation or find a way of carrying on. It was decided to carry on and to try to cash in on the current economy car boom enjoyed so successfully by some of Germany's ex-aircraft manufacturers such as Messerschmitt and Heinkel. The rights to manufacture the Italian Iso Isetta were bought, the tiny cars themselves were to be powered by a modified form of BMW's own motorcycle engine. This was moderately successful and helped the company get back on its feet. The controlling majority shareholder of the BMW Aktiengesellschaft since 1959 is the Quandt family, which owns about 46% of the stock. The rest is in public float.

In 1992, BMW acquired a large stake in Californian-based industrial design studio DesignworksUSA, which they fully acquired in 1995. In 1994, BMW bought the British Rover Group (which at the time consisted of the Rover, Land Rover and MG brands as well as the rights to defunct brands including Austin and Morris), and owned it for six years. By 2000, Rover was making huge losses and BMW decided to sell the combine. The MG and Rover brands were sold to the Phoenix Consortium to form MG Rover, while Land Rover was taken over by Ford. BMW, meanwhile, retained the rights to build the new MINI, which was launched in 2001.
Chief designer Chris Bangle announced his departure from BMW after serving on the design team for nearly seventeen years. He will be replaced by Adrian van Hooydonk, Bangle's former right hand man. Bangle was famously (or infamously) known for his radical designs such as the 2002 7-Series and the 2002 Z4. In July 2007, the production rights for Husqvarna Motorcycles was purchased by BMW for a reported 93 million euros. BMW Motorrad plans to continue operating Husqvarna Motorcycles as a separate enterprise. All development, sales and production activities, as well as the current workforce, have remained in place at its present location at Varese.


Isle of Man TT- in 1939 BMW became the first foreign manufacturer to win the Isle of Mann TT race with Georg Meier
Dakar Rally- BMW motorcycles have won the Dakar rally six times. In 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1999, and 2000.
Superbike World Championship- BMW returned to premier road racing in 2009 with their all new superbike, the BMW S1000RR.

Sports car

Le Mans 24 Hours - BMW won Le Mans in 1999 with the BMW V12 LMR designed by Williams Grand Prix Engineering. Also the Kokusai Kaihatsu Racing team won the 1995 edition with a BMW-engined McLaren F1 GTR race car.
Nürburgring - BMW won the 24 Hours Nürburgring 18 times and the 1000km Nürburgring twice (1976 and 1981).
24 Hours of Daytona - BMW won 1 time (1976)
Spa 24 Hours - BMW won 21 times
McLaren F1 GTR - Successful mid-1990s GT racing car with a BMW designed engine. It won the BPR Global GT Series in 1995 and 1996 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1995.

Formula One

BMW has a history of success in Formula One. BMW powered cars have won 20 races. The most recent win is a lone constructor team's victory by BMW Sauber F1 Team, on 8 June 2008, at the Canadian Grand Prix with Robert Kubica driving. Achievements include:Driver championship: 1 (1983) Constructor championship: 0 (Runner-up 2002, 2003, 2007) Grand Prix wins: 20 Podium finishes: 76 Pole positions: 33 Fastest laps: 33
BMW was an engine supplier to Williams, Benetton, Brabham, and Arrows. Notable drivers who have started their Formula One careers with BMW include Jenson Button, Juan Pablo Montoya, and Sebastian Vettel.
In July 2009, BMW announced that it would withdraw from Formula One at the end of the 2009 season

Touring car

BMW has a long and successful history in touring car racing.
European Touring Car Championship (ETCC) - Since 1968, BMW won 24 drivers' championships[citation needed] along with several manufacturers' and teams' titles.
World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) - BMW won four drivers' championship (1987, 2005, 2006 and 2007) and three manufacturers' titles (2005–2007).
DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft) - the following won the DTM drivers' championship driving BMWs:

1989: Roberto Ravaglia, BMW M3
1987: Eric van der Poele, BMW M3
The DRM (Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft) was won by Harald Ertl in a BMW 320i Turbo in 1978
British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) - BMW won the drivers' championship in 1988, 1991, 1992 and 1993 and manufacturers' championship in 1991 and 1993.
Japanese Touring Car Championship (JTCC) - BMW (Schnitzer) flew from Europe to Japan to compete in the JTCC and won the championship in 1995.
Mille Miglia - BMW won Mille Miglia in 1940 in with a 328 Touring Coupé. Previously in 1938 the 328 sport car also obtained a class victory.

RAC Rally - The 328 sport car won this event in 1939.
Paris Dakar Rally - BMW motorcycles have won this event 6 times.
Tour De Corse - The BMW M3 - E30 won this event in 1987


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