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Page Overview: BMW Group Classic: Brands
BMW Welt, BMW 4-cylinder building and TV tower before blue sky

The BMW Group, with its BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars brands, is one of the world’s most successful premium manufacturers of cars and motorcycles. The company demonstrates its commitment to innovation, sustainability and product responsibility all the way from development to production. Its aim? To play an active and innovative role in shaping the face of mobility, both now and in the future.



The birth of BMW goes back to two men: Karl Rapp and Gustav Otto. Their respective companies – engine makers Rapp Motorenwerke and aircraft manufacturers Gustav Otto – gave rise to Bayerische Motoren Werke GmbH. Since 1917, the now world-famous logo can be found on every company product. The unveiling of BMW’s very own motorcycle in 1923 to mark its spectacular debut in vehicle manufacturing caused nothing short of a sensation. That was followed in 1928 by a further milestone when BMW acquired the Eisenach vehicle plant and began producing automobiles.

Innovative, high-quality products made a name for BMW as swiftly as its peak achievements in the motorsport arena. Iconic models like the BMW 328 built in 1936 and the 1973 BMW R 90 S rank to this day as milestones in car and motorcycle design respectively – and continue to set the pulses of two- and four-wheeled fans racing.

Side view of a white BMW 507 with seated lady in black and white

Photo of people behind a BMW classic (black and white)

Photo of a BMW classic on a racetrack (black and white)

Side view of a silver BMW X5 before a picturesque setting

Side view of a silver BMW Z8 on a road by the sea

Growth through crisis.

For all its success, the history of BMW didn’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 emerged stronger than before. The introduction of the sporty “New Class” in 1961 signalled its ascent to the rank of the world’s biggest premium car manufacturer. BMW, moreover, was the only German company to continue building motorcycles.
The internationalisation of sales and the expansion of the production network in the 1970s created the framework for a true success story.

Sustainability at its most beautiful.

Fascinating products like the BMW M1 or the R 80 G/S are compelling beyond their technical details and reveal the emotional side of BMW. Not that the rational view was ever sidelined: with its Strategy Number ONE introduced in 2007, whose primary goal is sustainability, BMW set the agenda for the future.
The Group’s espousal of electric mobility and the launch of the all-electric, zero-emission urban vehicle, the BMW i3, marks the start of the latest chapter in BMW’s history.



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. Bit 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.

Three MINI in the curve of a racetrack

Gentelman next to the first MINI

MINI on a racetrack in black and white

Side view of a MINI iin front of men in black and white

Boy and girl next to vintage MINI in black and white

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.



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.

Side view of a historic, black Rolls-Royce against a black background

Side view of a historic, gray-blue Rolls-Royce against a black background

Lateral view of the wing of a historic Rolls-Royce against a black background

Side detail view of the front of a historic Rolls-Royce against a black background

Side detail view of the front of a historic Rolls-Royce against a black background

Diagonal side view of a black Rolls-Royce against a black background

Side view in black and white of a historic Rolls-Royce in front of a lake

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.



Captivating and dynamic: since 1923 BMW Motorrad has been developing innovative and vibrant road motorcycles which rank among the best the world can offer. The same goes for the racing arena, where BMW machines have celebrated major triumphs in numerous championships.

Parked motocross bike on terrain ahead of riders and other off road machines

BMW Motorrad in the curve of a road

Side view of a red BMW Motorrad with yellow contrasting elements and drivers in red outfits

Motorcycle race in black and white

Historic BMW motorcycle in motion in black and white

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.

Find out more about BMW Group heritage.