Bavarian Motor Works (BMW)

Bavarian Motor Works (BMW) is a German automobile, motorcycle and engine manufacturing company founded in 1917. It also owns produces the Mini marque, and is the parent compony of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. BMW produces motorcycles under BMW Motorrad and Husqvarna brand. In 2010, the BMW group produced 1,481,253 automobiles and 112,271 motorcycles across all it's brands.
BMW was established as a business entity following a restructuring of the Rapp Motorenwerke aircraft manufacturing firm in 1917. After the end of World War in 1918, BMW was forced to cease aircraft engine production of the Versailles Armistice Treaty. The company consequently shifted to motorcycles production in 1923, once the restrictions of the treaty started to be lifted followed by automobiles in 1928-1929

The first car which BMW successfully produced and the car which launched BMW on the road to automobile production was the Dixi, it was based on the Austin 7 and licensed from Austin Motor Company in Birmingham, England.

The circular blue and white BMW logo or roundel evolved from the circular Rapp Motorenwerke company logo, from which the BMW company grew, combined with the blue colors of the flag of Bavaria. The logo has been portrayed as the movement of an aircraft propeller with the white blades cutting through a blue sky-first used in a BMW advertisement in 1929, twelve years after the roundel was created-but this is not the origin of the logo itself.

Bmw's first significant aircraft engine was the BMW llla inline-six liquid-cooled engine of 1918, much preferred for it's high altitude performance. With German rearmament in the 1930s,  the company again began producing aircraft engine for the Luftwaffe. Among it's successful World War ii engine design were the BMW 132 and BMW 801 air-cooled radial engines, and the pioneering BMW 003 axial-flow turbojet, which powered the tiny, 19944-1945-era jet-powered "emergency fighter", the Heinkel He 162 Spatz. The BMW 003 jet engine was testing 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 fighter program until successful testing with Junkers engines.

By the year 1959, the automotive division of BMW was in financial difficulties and a shareholders meeting was held 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 from of BMW's own motorcycle engine. This was moderately successful and helped the company get back on it's feet. The controlling majority shareholder of the BMW Aktiengesellschaft since 1959 is the Quandl family, which owns about 46% of the stock. The rest is in public float.

BMW acquired the Hans Glas company based in Dingolfing, Germany, in 1966. It was reputed that the acquisition wan mainly to Glas' develepment of the timing belt with on overhead camshaft in automotive applications. Glas vehicles were briefly badged as BMW until the company was fully absorbed.

In 1992, BMW acquired a large stake in California based industrial design studio Designworks USA, which the fully acquired in 1995. In 1995, BMW bought the British Rover Group (which at the time consisted of the Rover, Land Rover and MG brands as well as the right to defunct including Austin and Morris), and owned it for six years. By 200, Rover was incurring huge losses and BMW decided to sell the combine. The MG and Rover brands weresold to the Phoenix Consortium to form MG Rover, while Land Rover was taken over by Ford. BMW, meanwhile, retained the right to build the new Mini, which was launched in 2001.

Chief designer Chris Bangle announced his departure from BMW in February 2009, after serving on the design team for nearly seventeen years. He was replaced by Gusqvarna Motorcycles was purchased by BMW for a reported 93 million euros. BMW Motorrad plans to continue operating Husqvarna Motorcycles as a separate enterorise. All development, sales and production activities, as well as the curremt workforce, have remained in place at its present location at Varese.

In June 2012, BMW was listed as the #1 most reputable company in the world by Fordes.com. Rankings are based upon aspects such as "people's willingness to buy, remommend, work for, and invest in a company is driven 60% by their perceptions of the company and only 40% by their perceptions of their products".

1 comment :

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