BMW company history in brief


You can see the full version of this text in BMW History.


  • Founding of BMW in 1916 as Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW) after the departure of founder Karl Friedrich Rapp.
  • Production of BMW IIIa aircraft engines for the German army during the First World War.


  • After the war, BMW was forced to stop producing aircraft and turned to the manufacture of agricultural equipment, household goods and railroad brakes.
  • Acquisition of the automobile company Automobilwerk Eisenach and production of the first BMW car, the BMW 3/15, in 1928.
  • Expansion of the BMW model range with sedans, coupes, convertibles and sports cars.


  • Continued expansion of BMW’s model range, including the launch of the BMW 303, which was the first BMW automobile with an inline six-cylinder engine.
  • BMW’s involvement in the production of aircraft engines for the Luftwaffe during World War II.
Foto de Max Avans, Pexels


  • Production of aircraft engines and participation in the development of successful engine designs for the Luftwaffe during the war.
  • Bombing of BMW production facilities during the war.
  • Prohibition of motorcycle and automobile production for BMW after the war. Production of kitchen utensils and bicycles.


  • Resumption of motorcycle production in 1947 and launch of the R24 motorcycle in 1948.
  • Resumption of automobile production in 1952 with the BMW 501.
  • Expansion of the BMW model range with sedans, coupes, convertibles and sports cars.
  • Acquisition of the Hans Glas company in 1966.


  • Development of the “Neue Klasse” (New Class) project and launch of the New Class series sedans in 1962.
  • Expansion of the model range with the 02 series coupes in 1966.
  • Merger with Daimler-Benz proposed in 1959, but stopped by shareholders and the intervention of the Quandt Group.


  • Production of in-line six-cylinder engines and launch of the 7-series sedans in 1978.
  • Creation of BMW’s motorsport division, BMW M, and launch of the BMW M1 in 1978.
  • Introduction of the 5-series midsize sedans in 1972 and the 3-series compact sedans/coupes in 1975.


  • Development and production of new sports and luxury models, including the BMW M5, the first diesel-powered BMW (M21) and the first all-wheel-drive sedan (E30 325iX).
  • Launch of the 7 Series with a V12 model and automatic transmission option in 1987.
  • Introduction of the 6 series of luxury coupes in 1976.
  • Expansion of automobile production in other parts of the world, including the opening of a plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA, in 1994.
  • Acquisition of the British car brand Rover Group in 1994, which included brands such as Rover, Land Rover and Mini.
  • Sale of Rover Group in 2000, retaining only the Mini brand.


  • Expansion of BMW’s model range with the introduction of the 1-series compact car in 2004.
  • Launch of the 3-series sedan/coupe in 1998 and the 5-series sedan in 2003.
  • Development and production of the BMW i3, BMW’s first all-electric car, in 2013.
  • Launch of the 4-series coupes and convertibles in 2013.


  • Expansion of BMW’s electric vehicle range with the launch of the BMW i8, a plug-in hybrid sports car, in 2014.
  • Introduction of the 2-series coupes and convertibles in 2014.
  • Launch of the 7 series of luxury sedans in 2015.
  • Expansion of BMW’s high-performance sports car lineup with the introduction of the 8 series in 2018.
  • Continued development and production of electric vehicles under the BMW i sub-brand, including the BMW iX3, BMW i4 and BMW iX.

Today, BMW is recognized as a luxury and performance automotive brand, with a wide range of models ranging from compact vehicles to SUVs and sports cars. It has also entered the electric vehicle market and is committed to technological innovation and sustainability in the automotive industry.