Fascination since 1916.
The birth of BMW can be traced back to two men: Karl Rapp and Gustav Otto. Their respective companies – engine maker Rapp Motorenwerke and aircraft manufacturer Flugmaschinenfabrik Gustav Otto – gave rise to Bayerische Motoren Werke GmbH. Since 1917, BMW’s now world-famous logo has been found on every one of its products. The unveiling of BMW’s very own motorcycle in 1923, marking the company’s spectacular debut in vehicle manufacturing, caused a veritable sensation. That was followed in 1928 by another milestone, as BMW acquired the Eisenach vehicle plant and began producing cars.
Innovative, high-quality products made a name for BMW as swiftly as its top-class performances in the motor sport arena. To this day, iconic models like the BMW 328 of 1936 and the 1973 BMW R 90 S rank as milestones in car and motorcycle design respectively – and continue to set pulses racing among fans of two- and four-wheelers alike.
Growth through crisis.
For all its success, the history of BMW hasn’t always run smoothly. A particularly dramatic episode was the threatened sale of the company in 1959, which was averted at the last minute. But with every crisis and setback, BMW has emerged stronger than before. The introduction of the sporty “New Class” in 1961 kick-started BMW’s ascent to becoming the world’s largest premium car manufacturer. Plus, it was the only German company to continue building motorcycles.
The internationalisation of sales and the expansion of the company’s production network in the 1970s created the framework for a true success story – one that continues to this day.
Sustainability at its most beautiful.
Much of the mystique and allure of the BMW brand is rooted in creations like the BMW M1 and BMW R 80 G/S, but the company also keeps an unwavering eye on the future.
The launch of the BMW i cars and other pioneering models has opened up a new chapter in BMW’s successful history. Sustainability and new mobility concepts represent important elements in the company’s future development.
Fascination on two wheels.
Captivating and dynamic: Since 1923 BMW Motorrad has been developing innovative and vibrant road motorcycles which rank among the best the world has to offer. The same goes for the racing arena, where BMW machines have celebrated major triumphs in numerous championships.
A step ahead from the word go.
Ever since those earliest days, BMW Motorrad models have been defined by their twin-cylinder boxer engine, cardan-shaft drive and attractive design. For more than 90 years these three components have risen to the challenge as the basic concept at the heart of BMW motorcycles and BMW boxer engines.
Over the years, the BMW Motorrad model range has expanded to include sports and touring bikes and then the GS off-road machines which dominated the Paris-Dakar Rally in the 1980s. And today BMW Motorrad offers an array of models and engine variants for pretty much any use. Whether it’s an exclusive luxury tourer, agile naked bike or innovative city scooter you’re looking for, the Enduro, Tour, Roadster, Sport and Urban Mobility series will provide the right model for every motorcycle enthusiast. The ultimate in riding pleasure is available to all of us – any time, any place.
ZEST FOR LIFE AS STANDARD.
On 26 August 1959 the world changed – or the automotive world did, at any rate.
It was on this day that the British Motor Corporation unveiled the first Mini, a car employing innovative solutions to offer unbeatable levels of space within a remarkably small footprint. The mastermind behind this innovative concept was gifted British engineer Alec Issigonis. But it wasn’t just the onboard space of the Mini that impressed; with its faultlessly satisfying driving characteristics and exceptionally agile handling, it left a trail of smiling faces wherever it went – both every day on the road and when answering the call of motor sport competition.
A zest for life both then and now.
MINI has been part of the BMW Group since 1994. The launch of the new MINI in 2001 saw the brand make the leap into the 21st century. And it still embodies the attitude to life of a whole generation – extrovert, open and full of zest.
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
THE ULTIMATE IN CRAFTSMANSHIP.
What do you get when a talented businessman teams up with a brilliant engineer? One of the most exclusive manufacturers of luxury cars. Or at least that was the case when Rolls-Royce founders Charles Stewart Rolls and Frederick Henry Royce met for the first time on 4 May 1904. The two men quickly decided they should join forces to produce and market high-class cars – and set the seal on their agreement with a simple handshake. It was more than seven months until the contracts were signed on 23 December 1904, marking the official start of business for Rolls-Royce Ltd.
Striving for perfection.
Since the company’s earliest days, the Rolls-Royce name has stood for unbeatable standards of technology and craftsmanship, as well as reliability and style. The maxim of company founder Henry Royce sums it up: “Strive for perfection in everything you do. Take the best that exists and make it better. When it does not exist, design it.”
The BMW Group acquired the naming rights for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars in 1998 with the aim of adding another level to the top end of the BMW Group’s successful premium strategy. Based in Goodwood, southern England, since 2003, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars combines the ultimate in craftsmanship with state-of-the-art manufacturing processes and innovative technologies. All in keeping with Henry Royce’s belief in striving for perfection.