Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Profile : BMW Company

Bavarian Motor Works (Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft) was founded in 1913 by Karl Friedrich Rap as Bavarian Aircraft Works (Bayerische Flugzeug-Werke) or BFW. The company would change its moniker to its present name after being purchased from Rapp by Franz Josef Popp, the company's first chairman.

BMW originally built aircraft engines. In 1919, shortly after Popp's takeover, it would develop its first motorcycle engine, the Victoria. The first BMW motorcycle, the R32, would arrive in 1924. It was in 1928, though, which BMW rolled out its first car, the BMW 3/15.

World War II and its aftermath slowed the company considerably. At one point, upper management was seriously considering rival Daimler-Benz's offer to purchase BMW. Herbert Quandt, a major shareholder, nixed the deal. Later, under the guidance of such CEOs as Eberhard von Kuenheim, BMW moved from a local automaker to an international brand. (Note that the Quandt family continues to be major shareholders of BMW and wield considerable influence within the company.)

The Seventies brought what are now known as the 5, 3, and 7-Series. In 1994, BMW purchased several smaller brands such as Austin, MINI, Land Rover, and Triumph. It found itself in a bidding war in 1998 with Volkswagen to acquire Bentley and Rolls-Royce from Vickers plc. Though it lost the bidding, it assumed the Rolls-Royce name from Rolls-Royce plc. This resulted in the Rolls-Royce Phantom in 2003.

BMW took a risk in 2000 when it unveiled its new "Series" sedans designed and approved by car designer Chris Bangle. Until then, BMWs had been known for their more conservative sheetmetal. While traditionalists continue to howl, the current Series cars (especially the 3-Series); the X3 and X5 SUVs; and Z4 roadsters have propelled BMW sales worldwide to its current position as the number one luxury automaker internationally.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Need more anything..??