Bayerische Motoren Werke, widely known as BMW, is a luxury German automobile manufacturing company that is part of the German ‘Big 3′ that also comprises Audi and Mercedes Benz.
BMW started off in 1916 with Karl Rapp and Gustav Otto. In that same year, the Flugmaschinenfabrik Gustav Otto company merged into Bayerische Flugzeug-Werke AG (BFW) following governmental orders. In 1917, the Rapp Motorenwerke company switched over to Bayerische Motoren Werke AG. In 1922, the company's engine construction operations were transferred to BFW. Ever since, the date of 7 March 1916 has gone down in history as the birth date of BMW. In 1923, BMW began its foray into complete vehicle production with the introduction of its first motorcycle. Until then the company had only ever supplied engines. BMW became an automobile manufacturer
1928 by purchasing the company known as Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach. In 1933, aircraft construction in Germany took center stage with hefty financial support from the government. Starting in 1933, aircraft construction in Germany received substantial financial support from the government. In 1934, BMW AG expanded into BMW Flugmotorenbau GmbH, an aero-engine division. During the Second World War, BMW was classified as a German armaments and war materials manufacturer, and devoted its resources to building aircraft engines for the German Air Force. At the end of the war, auto manufacturing resumed and the first motorcycle to hit the road was the R 24 model. The
BMW 501 was the first automobile post-war and the 1500 followed suit in 1961. BMW soon ventured into sports with the founding of BMW Motorsport GmbH in 1972. BMW made it to the US in 1994 and in that same year acquired the Rover Group, followed shortly by an acquisition of Rolls Royce in 1998. In 2000, the Rover Group was sold and the MINI plant was established in Oxford. BMW now operates 30 production facilities in 14 countries on 4 continents and has become one of the most highly coveted luxury vehicle manufacturers in the world.
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