When it comes to the automotive industry, BMW is undoubtedly one of the most-known acronyms in the world. In a nutshell, BMW stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke, or simply Bavarian Motor Works, and it HerWerk is a world-renowned manufacturer of motorcycles, four-wheeled cars as well as airplane engines. What makes BMW so popular and respected in the automotive industry is its commitment to excellence and quality, and it all started almost a century ago, back in 1916. It was then when Bayerische Motoren Werke was founded, and it was also then when engines have entered a whole new era. BMW initially started as an engine-focused company that studied and tried to enhance the performance of engines as we all know them – slowly but surely, the company moved from basic motorcycle engines to airplane engines that would revolutionise air transport.
It all started with Karl Friedrich Rapp’s ambition to improve and reinvent the engines and to make them more powerful than ever before – and it was also Rapp who actually laid the groundwork for BMW. Right before the first World War, the demand for high-performance aircraft engines has sky-rocketed, and this is how Karl Friedrich Rapp’s ascension to success started. The BMW company is actually the direct result of merging three different manufacturing companies in one: The Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach which was located in Thuringia, the Bayerische Flugzeugwerke located in Bavaria (which specialised in aircraft engines) and, last but not least, the Rapp Motorenwerke company which specialised in vehicle engines – the latter soon became Bayerische Motorenwerke.
As mentioned above, BMW started as an aircraft engine manufacturer, and it did that for more than a decade – it was not until the late 1920s when BMW actually became a full-time automobile manufacturer that also offered BMW servicing, upon purchasing one of the factories mentioned above (the Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach). Rapp’s dream was to push the performance of its engines to a whole new level, and this is how the first line of luxury vehicles emerged, back in the 1930s. These vehicles radically changed the way people saw cars and, most importantly – comfort. Featuring no less than six cylinders, these luxury car line was actually the predecessor of the first sports car manufactured by BMW, a car that quickly gained notoriety amongst sports enthusiasts due to its state of the art engine combined with its aerodynamic design. Nonetheless, the joy of BMW as an automobile manufacturer was short-lived, as the company had to stop its production of motorcycles and automobiles when World War II started, as the company started to manufacture aircraft engines yet again.
It was not until the late 1940s when BMW was back on track and it re-started its production of motorcycles and automobiles: BMW started to focus more on automobiles rather than motorcycles, given the high demand for four-wheeled cars. It must be said that BMW enjoyed a great success in the motorcycle manufacturing field, given the fact that it managed to set the first world record-breaking speed towards the end of the 1920s, with its 750cc bike that reached the staggering speed of 216.75km/h. Less than a decade after that, BMW officially released its first roadster, the well-known 328 model. A few years after restarting its automobile production, BMW focused on luxury saloons which became tremendously popular within less than a year. Over the next few years, BMW became stronger and more popular, and it eventually received the license to start building vehicles under the reputable and immensely popular Rolls Royce brand