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A Little BMW History for Ya!

BMW has a long history of perseverance that began in 1916. What started out as an airplane engine company, BMW morphed along the way to stay relevant. From airplanes to motorcycles to fine luxury automobiles as well as mergers and takeovers, BMW continues to set the standard for excellence. They even made pots and pans to stay afloat during some of the toughest years! 

The first BMW logo was created in 1917 honoring the original Karl Rapp logo that represented a spinning airplane propeller. In more than 100 years, that logo has changed very little. People love that logo and that’s why you see it on coffee mugs, key chains, flags, hats, and more. That way, everyone can say they own a BMW! 

BMW headquarters is located in Munich where its primary manufacturing plant is located. It produces more than 200,000 vehicles a year and employs more than 9,000 people. 

One of the things that makes BMW unique is its ability to adjust with the times. Through wars and negative social climates they preserved. Going from airplanes to their first motorcycle in 1923 (the R32) demonstrated they make huge shifts in production and do it very successfully.

Did you know that BMW’s first car was based on an Austin Motor Company design? The first car they produced was a licensed offshoot of the Dixi 15 and was branded the BMW 15. As the evolved into the 1930s, they added sports cars and larger luxury cars to their lineup. 

During WWII, BMW was government-mandated to produce war materials. Just like the rest of the world, it was a dark time for BMW. Post-war, they had to switch into producing pots and pans to stay afloat until they were allowed to return to motorcycles and automobiles. It wasn’t until 1949 that they started manufacturing motorcycles again and 1952 for cars. That’s when they introduced the BMW 501 Saloon. 

In the early 1960s, BMW became a leading manufacturer of sports cars. Throughout the 60s, they added coupes and luxury sedans to broaden their reach. The 5-Series mid-size sedan was introduced in 1972 and the compact 3-Series came on the scene in 1975. The 6-Series luxury coupes in 1976 and 7-Series large luxury sedans in 1978 are what followed. They were aggressively going after a wide range of luxury car owners and continue to meet the desires of those wanting the ultimate driving experience.

South Carolina hosts BMW's largest manufacturing plant that produces 1,500 cars a DAY! The plant opened in 1994, more than 40 years after BMW started selling to the American public. It’s where the Z3 Roadster was born and continues to be produced along with the BMW X series.  

When you want your BMW to experience the Bristow’s difference, make your appointment with some of the most qualified BMW auto mechanics in the business. We back our work with a 2-year, 24,000-mile warranty and our entire team focuses on creating a top-notch customer service experience. We specialize in BMW service and repair so you’ll know that your BMW is in the best of hands. Make your appointment today! We look forward to seeing you soon!


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