BMW has long been an iconic brand. It’s the symbol of luxury for many car buyers, and for those up and coming, it’s often the first step toward true success. Few, though, know their BMW history.
In fact, many search the term “What does BMW stand for” on a regular basis. How much do you know about this iconic brand? Take a look at the unique history behind this luxury vehicle.
A Turn of the Century Creation
BMW was initially founded in 1913 by Karl Rapp. It was the Rapp Motorenwerke Company, and it manufactured aircraft engines in Munich.
In fact, it supplied many of the engines the German air force used during World War I because automobiles just weren’t providing as much revenue for the company as they eventually would.
Just a few years later, in 1917, though, Karl Rapp left the company, and it became the Bayerische Motoren Werke.
The name was a reference to the location of the company’s headquarters in Bavaria. Bayerische literally translates to Bavarian, and many began shortening it to BMW from there.
A year later, the company began shifting its focus from aircraft engines to built-in motors and railway brakes.
By the early 1920s, the focus shifted yet again, this time to cars and motorcycles.
The logo you know so well came about at the same time the official name was changed. It was an echo of the Bavarian flag, a blue and white flag that was checkered in diamonds.
It stayed with the company throughout the many changes it underwent.
The slogan many people know, though, wasn’t even developed until 1974, and at that time, it was just developed for the North American market. “The Ultimate Driving Machine” became a popular catch phrase for this vehicle, and in 2010, the brand tried to replace it with “Joy.”
So few people took to it, though, that the 1974 slogan returned in 2012, and it’s been used ever since.
Today, many take this luxury car brand for granted, but without its early history in the world of aircraft, it wouldn’t be what it is today.