BMW

BMW

Overview
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) (Bavarian Motor Works) is a German automobile, motorcycle and engine manufacturing company founded in 1916. It also owns and produces the Mini marque, and is the parent company of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is a British manufacturer of luxury automobiles based at the Goodwood plant in West Sussex, England. It is the current producer of Rolls-Royce branded automobiles, whose historical production dates back to 1904. The factory is located across from the historic Goodwood Circuit...

. BMW produces motorcycles under BMW Motorrad
BMW Motorrad
BMW Motorrad is the motorcycle brand of the German company BMW, part of its Corporate and Brand Development division. The current General Director of the unit is Hendrik von Kuenheim....

 and Husqvarna
Husqvarna Motorcycles
Husqvarna Motorcycles, a subsidiary of BMW, is a company manufacturing motocross, enduro and supermoto motorcycles. The company began producing motorcycles in 1903 at Huskvarna, Sweden, as a branch of the Husqvarna armament firm which had supplied the Swedish army with rifles since 1689.-History:As...

 brands. In 2010, the BMW group produced 1,481,253 automobiles and 112,271 motorcycles across all its brands.


BMW entered existence as a business entity following a restructuring of the Rapp Motorenwerke
Rapp Motorenwerke
Rapp Motorenwerke GmbH was one of the first aircraft engine manufacturers in Germany at the turn of the 20th Century and underwent numerous mergers and changes before becoming BMW AG.-Early engines:...

 aircraft engine manufacturing firm in 1917.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'BMW'
Start a new discussion about 'BMW'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) (Bavarian Motor Works) is a German automobile, motorcycle and engine manufacturing company founded in 1916. It also owns and produces the Mini marque, and is the parent company of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is a British manufacturer of luxury automobiles based at the Goodwood plant in West Sussex, England. It is the current producer of Rolls-Royce branded automobiles, whose historical production dates back to 1904. The factory is located across from the historic Goodwood Circuit...

. BMW produces motorcycles under BMW Motorrad
BMW Motorrad
BMW Motorrad is the motorcycle brand of the German company BMW, part of its Corporate and Brand Development division. The current General Director of the unit is Hendrik von Kuenheim....

 and Husqvarna
Husqvarna Motorcycles
Husqvarna Motorcycles, a subsidiary of BMW, is a company manufacturing motocross, enduro and supermoto motorcycles. The company began producing motorcycles in 1903 at Huskvarna, Sweden, as a branch of the Husqvarna armament firm which had supplied the Swedish army with rifles since 1689.-History:As...

 brands. In 2010, the BMW group produced 1,481,253 automobiles and 112,271 motorcycles across all its brands.

Company history



BMW entered existence as a business entity following a restructuring of the Rapp Motorenwerke
Rapp Motorenwerke
Rapp Motorenwerke GmbH was one of the first aircraft engine manufacturers in Germany at the turn of the 20th Century and underwent numerous mergers and changes before becoming BMW AG.-Early engines:...

 aircraft engine manufacturing firm in 1917. After the end of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 in 1918, BMW was forced to cease aircraft engine production by the terms of the Versailles Armistice Treaty
Treaty of Versailles
The Treaty of Versailles was one of the peace treaties at the end of World War I. It ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers. It was signed on 28 June 1919, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The other Central Powers on the German side of...

. The company consequently shifted to motorcycle production in 1923 once the restrictions of the treaty started to be lifted, followed by automobiles in 1928–29.

The first car which BMW successfully produced and the car which launched BMW on the road to automobile production was the Dixi
BMW Dixi
The Dixi was the first car made by BMW.thumb|right|280px|1928 BMW DixiDixi was car brand of Eisenach car factory made from 1904; however, in the difficult climate of the 1920s the company found it hard to sell its 6/24 and 9/40 models...

, it was based on the Austin 7
Austin 7
The Austin 7 was a car produced from 1922 through to 1939 in the United Kingdom by the Austin Motor Company. Nicknamed the "Baby Austin", it was one of the most popular cars ever produced for the British market, and sold well abroad...

 and licensed from the Austin Motor Company
Austin Motor Company
The Austin Motor Company was a British manufacturer of automobiles. The company was founded in 1905 and merged in 1952 into the British Motor Corporation Ltd. The marque Austin was used until 1987...

 in Birmingham
Birmingham
Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands of England. It is the most populous British city outside the capital London, with a population of 1,036,900 , and lies at the heart of the West Midlands conurbation, the second most populous urban area in the United Kingdom with a...

, England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

.

The circular blue and white BMW logo or roundel is portrayed by BMW as the movement of an aircraft propeller, to signify the white blades cutting through the blue sky – an interpretation that BMW adopted for convenience in 1929, twelve years after the roundel was created. The emblem evolved from the circular Rapp Motorenwerke
Rapp Motorenwerke
Rapp Motorenwerke GmbH was one of the first aircraft engine manufacturers in Germany at the turn of the 20th Century and underwent numerous mergers and changes before becoming BMW AG.-Early engines:...

 company logo, from which the BMW company grew, combined with the blue and white colours of the flag of Bavaria
Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

, reversed to produce the BMW roundel. However, the origin of the logo being based on the movement of a propeller is in dispute, according to an article posted in 2010 by the New York Times, quoting "At the BMW Museum in Munich, Anne Schmidt-Possiwal, explained that the blue-and-white company logo did not represent a spinning propeller, but was meant to show the colours of the Free State of Bavaria."

BMW's first significant aircraft engine was the BMW IIIa inline-six liquid-cooled engine of 1918, much preferred for its high-altitude performance. With German rearmament in the 1930s, the company again began producing aircraft engines for the Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe is a generic German term for an air force. It is also the official name for two of the four historic German air forces, the Wehrmacht air arm founded in 1935 and disbanded in 1946; and the current Bundeswehr air arm founded in 1956....

. Among its successful World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 engine designs were the BMW 132
BMW 132
|-See also:-External links:...

 and BMW 801
BMW 801
The BMW 801 was a powerful German air-cooled radial aircraft engine built by BMW and used in a number of German military aircraft of World War II. The engine's cylinders were in two rows of seven cylinders each, the bore and stroke were both 156 mm , giving a total capacity of 41.8 litres...

 air-cooled radial engines, and the pioneering BMW 003 axial-flow
Axial compressor
Axial compressors are rotating, airfoil-based compressors in which the working fluid principally flows parallel to the axis of rotation. This is in contrast with other rotating compressors such as centrifugal, axi-centrifugal and mixed-flow compressors where the air may enter axially but will have...

 turbojet, which powered the tiny, 1944-1945-era jet-powered "emergency fighter", the Heinkel He 162
Heinkel He 162
The Heinkel He 162 Volksjäger was a German single-engine, jet-powered fighter aircraft fielded by the Luftwaffe in World War II. Designed and built quickly, and made primarily of wood as metals were in very short supply and prioritised for other aircraft, the He 162 was nevertheless the fastest of...

 Spatz. The BMW 003 jet engine was tested in the A-1b version of the world's first jet fighter, the Messerschmitt Me 262
Messerschmitt Me 262
The Messerschmitt Me 262 Schwalbe was the world's first operational jet-powered fighter aircraft. Design work started before World War II began, but engine problems prevented the aircraft from attaining operational status with the Luftwaffe until mid-1944...

, but BMW engines failed on takeoff, a major setback for the jet fighter program until successful testing with Junkers engines.

By the year 1959, the automotive division of BMW was in financial difficulties and a shareholders meeting was held to decide whether to go into liquidation or find a way of carrying on. It was decided to carry on and to try to cash in on the current economy car boom enjoyed so successfully by some of Germany's ex-aircraft manufacturers such as Messerschmitt
Messerschmitt
Messerschmitt AG was a famous German aircraft manufacturing corporation named for its chief designer, Willy Messerschmitt, and known primarily for its World War II fighter aircraft, notably the Bf 109 and Me 262...

 and Heinkel
Heinkel
Heinkel Flugzeugwerke was a German aircraft manufacturing company founded by and named after Ernst Heinkel. It is noted for producing bomber aircraft for the Luftwaffe in World War II and for important contributions to high-speed flight.-History:...

. The rights to manufacture the Italian Iso Isetta
Isetta
The Isetta is an Italian-designed microcar built in a number of different countries, including Spain, Belgium, France, Brazil, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Produced in the post-World War II years, a time when cheap short-distance transportation was most needed, it became one of the most...

 were bought; the tiny cars themselves were to be powered by a modified form of BMW's own motorcycle engine. This was moderately successful and helped the company get back on its feet. The controlling majority shareholder of the BMW Aktiengesellschaft
Stock corporation
A stock corporation is a for-profit corporation which the ownership of the corporation is expressed by shares of stock. This allows for the ownership of the corporation to be readily determined, as shares are property, and are transferrable as any other property such as money, subject to any...

 since 1959 is the Quandt family, which owns about 46% of the stock. The rest is in public float
Public float
The float of a company whose stock is publicly traded has different default meanings depending on the presumed context.Without a qualifier it may refer to the entire market capitalization of the company or only its publicly traded equity....

.

BMW acquired the Hans Glas company based in Dingolfing
Dingolfing
Dingolfing is a town in Southern Bavaria, Germany. It is the seat of the Landkreis Dingolfing-Landau.- History :The area now called Dingolfing was first mentioned in Tinguluinga in the year 833....

, Germany, in 1966. It was reputed that the acquisition was mainly to gain access to Glas' development of the timing belt with an overhead camshaft in automotive applications. Glas vehicles were briefly badged as BMW until the company was fully absorbed.

In 1992, BMW acquired a large stake in California based industrial design
Industrial design
Industrial design is the use of a combination of applied art and applied science to improve the aesthetics, ergonomics, and usability of a product, but it may also be used to improve the product's marketability and production...

 studio DesignworksUSA
DesignworksUSA
DesignworksUSA is a global design consultancy based in Newbury Park, California, United States, with design studios in Munich, Germany and Singapore. Established independently in 1972 by Charles Pelly, it was acquired by BMW in 1995 and is now a wholly owned subsidiary of BMW Group...

, which they fully acquired in 1995. In 1994, BMW bought the British Rover Group
Rover Group
The Rover Group plc was the name given in 1986 to the British state-owned vehicle manufacturer previously known as British Leyland or BL. Owned by British Aerospace from 1988 to 1994, when it was sold to BMW, the Group was broken up in 2000 with the Rover and MG marques being acquired by the MG...

 (which at the time consisted of the Rover
Rover (car)
The Rover Company is a former British car manufacturing company founded as Starley & Sutton Co. of Coventry in 1878. After developing the template for the modern bicycle with its Rover Safety Bicycle of 1885, the company moved into the automotive industry...

, Land Rover
Land Rover
Land Rover is a British car manufacturer with its headquarters in Gaydon, Warwickshire, United Kingdom which specialises in four-wheel-drive vehicles. It is owned by the Indian company Tata Motors, forming part of their Jaguar Land Rover group...

 and MG
MG (car)
The MG Car Company is a former British sports car manufacturer founded in the 1920s by Cecil Kimber. Best known for its two-seat open sports cars, MG also produced saloons and coupés....

 brands as well as the rights to defunct brands including Austin
Austin Motor Company
The Austin Motor Company was a British manufacturer of automobiles. The company was founded in 1905 and merged in 1952 into the British Motor Corporation Ltd. The marque Austin was used until 1987...

 and Morris
Morris Motor Company
The Morris Motor Company was a British car manufacturing company. After the incorporation of the company into larger corporations, the Morris name remained in use as a marque until 1984 when British Leyland's Austin Rover Group decided to concentrate on the more popular Austin marque...

), and owned it for six years. By 2000, Rover was making huge losses and BMW decided to sell the combine. The MG and Rover brands were sold to the Phoenix Consortium to form MG Rover, while Land Rover was taken over by Ford
Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is an American multinational automaker based in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. The automaker was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. In addition to the Ford and Lincoln brands, Ford also owns a small stake in Mazda in Japan and Aston Martin in the UK...

. BMW, meanwhile, retained the rights to build the new Mini, which was launched in 2001.

Chief designer Chris Bangle
Chris Bangle
Christopher Edward "Chris" Bangle is an American automobile designer. Bangle is known best for his work as Chief of Design for BMW Group, where he was responsible for the BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce motor cars.- Biography :...

 announced his departure from BMW in February 2009, after serving on the design team for nearly seventeen years. He was replaced by Adrian van Hooydonk
Adrian van Hooydonk
Adrian van Hooydonk , is a Dutch automobile designer, best known for several modern BMW concept cars and production vehicles. He is based in Munich, Germany.- Biography :...

, Bangle's former right hand man. Bangle was known for his radical designs such as the 2002 7-Series and the 2002 Z4. In July 2007, the production rights for Husqvarna Motorcycles
Husqvarna Motorcycles
Husqvarna Motorcycles, a subsidiary of BMW, is a company manufacturing motocross, enduro and supermoto motorcycles. The company began producing motorcycles in 1903 at Huskvarna, Sweden, as a branch of the Husqvarna armament firm which had supplied the Swedish army with rifles since 1689.-History:As...

 was purchased by BMW for a reported 93 million euros. BMW Motorrad
BMW Motorrad
BMW Motorrad is the motorcycle brand of the German company BMW, part of its Corporate and Brand Development division. The current General Director of the unit is Hendrik von Kuenheim....

 plans to continue operating Husqvarna Motorcycles as a separate enterprise. All development, sales and production activities, as well as the current workforce, have remained in place at its present location at Varese.

Shareholders structure


by ownership
  • Stefan Quandt
    Stefan Quandt
    Stefan Quandt is a German engineer and industrialist. He is ranked as the 72nd richest person in the world in the Forbes list of billionaires, who put his personal wealth at $10.7 billion...

    : 17.4%
  • Johanna Quandt
    Johanna Quandt
    Johanna Quandt is the German widow of industrialist Herbert Quandt, who resurrected BMW from bankruptcy. As a result, she is the 14th richest person in Germany....

    : 16.7%
  • Susanne Klatten
    Susanne Klatten
    Susanne Klatten is the daughter of Herbert and Johanna Quandt. As of 2011, she is worth $14.6 billion, and is the richest woman in Germany and the 44th richest person in the world....

    : 12.6%
  • Free Float
    Public float
    The float of a company whose stock is publicly traded has different default meanings depending on the presumed context.Without a qualifier it may refer to the entire market capitalization of the company or only its publicly traded equity....

    : 53.3%


by types
  • Strategic investors: 46.7%
  • Institutional investors:
    • North America: 15.8%
    • United Kingdom and Ireland: 11.8%
    • Other Europe: 5.7%
    • Germany: 4.8%
    • Rest of the world: 2.5%
  • Other investors: 12.7%

Production


In 2006, the BMW group (including Mini and Rolls-Royce) produced 1,366,838 four-wheeled vehicles, which were manufactured in five countries. In 2010, it manufactured 1,481,253 four-wheeled vehicles and 112,271 motorcycles (under both the BMW and Husqvarna brands).

The BMW X3 (E83) was made by Magna Steyr, a subsidiary of Magna of Canada, in Graz, Austria under license from BMW until 2010. Over 45.973 were produced in 2009.
Starting October 2010 the new BMW X3 (F25) is produced in BMW's plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, U.S.A. From September 2010, the plant is producing MINI Countryman.

It is reported that about 56 per cent BMW brand vehicles produced are powered by petrol engines and the remaining 44 per cent are powered by diesel engines. Of those petrol vehicles, about 27 per cent are four cylinder models and about nine per cent are eight-cylinder models.

Annual Production
YearBMWMINIRolls-RoyceMotorcycle
2005 1,122,308 200,119 692 92,012
2006 1,179,317 186,674 847 103,759
2007 1,302,774 237,700 1,029 104,396
2008 1,203,482 235,019 1,417 118,452
2009 1,043,829 213,670 918 93,243
2010 1,236,989 241,043 3,221 112,271


Production by country
Country Make 2006 2008 Models
Germany BMW 905,057 901,898 Others
Mexico BMW 1,500 100,000 BMW X3, X5, 3, 5, 7-series
Russia BMW 1,500 2,000 BMW X5, X6, 5-series
United Kingdom Mini
MINI (BMW)
Mini is a British automotive marque owned by BMW which specialises in small cars.Mini originated as a specific vehicle, a small car originally known as the Morris Mini-Minor and the Austin Seven, launched by the British Motor Corporation in 1959, and developed into a brand encompassing a range of...

187,454 235,019 All Minis
Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce (car)
This a list of Rolls-Royce motor cars and includes vehicles produced by:*Rolls-Royce Limited *Rolls-Royce Motors , which was owned by Vickers between 1980 and 1998, and after that by Volkswagen...

67 1,417 All Rolls-Royce
Austria BMW 114,306 82,863 BMW X3
USA BMW 105,172 170,741 BMW X3, X5, X6
South Africa BMW 54,782 47,980 BMW 3-Series
Total 1,366,838 1,439,918


BMW also has local assembly operation using complete knock down components in Thailand, Russia, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Chennai, India for 3, 5, 7 series and X3.

Worldwide sales


Vehicles sold in all markets according to BMW's annual reports.
YearBMWMINIRolls-RoyceMotorcycle
2000 822,181
2001 880,677
2002 913,225
2003 928,151
2004 1,023,583
2005 1,126,768 200,428 796 97,474
2006 1,185,088 188,077 805 100,064
2007 1,276,793 222,875 1,010 102,467
2008 1,202,239 232,425 1,212 115,196
2009 1,068,770 216,538 1,002 100,358
2010 1,224,280 234,175 2,711 110,113

Since 2008, motorcycle sales figures include Husqvarna
Husqvarna Motorcycles
Husqvarna Motorcycles, a subsidiary of BMW, is a company manufacturing motocross, enduro and supermoto motorcycles. The company began producing motorcycles in 1903 at Huskvarna, Sweden, as a branch of the Husqvarna armament firm which had supplied the Swedish army with rifles since 1689.-History:As...

 models.

Motorcycles



BMW began building motorcycle engines and then motorcycles after World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. Its motorcycle brand is now known as BMW Motorrad
BMW Motorrad
BMW Motorrad is the motorcycle brand of the German company BMW, part of its Corporate and Brand Development division. The current General Director of the unit is Hendrik von Kuenheim....

. Their first successful motorcycle, after the failed Helios and Flink, was the "R32
BMW R32
The BMW R32 was the first motorcycle produced by BMW under the BMW name. An aircraft engine manufacturer during World War I, BMW was forced to diversify after the Treaty of Versailles banned the German air force and German aircraft manufacture...

" in 1923. This had a "boxer" twin engine, in which a cylinder projects into the air-flow from each side of the machine. Apart from their single cylinder models (basically to the same pattern), all their motorcycles used this distinctive layout until the early 1980s. Many BMWs are still produced in this layout, which is designated the R Series.

During the Second World War, BMW produced the BMW R75
BMW R75
The BMW R75 is a World War II-era motorcycle and sidecar combination produced by the German company BMW.In the 1930s BMW were producing a number of popular and highly effective motorcycles...

 motorcycle with a sidecar
Sidecar
A sidecar is a one-wheeled device attached to the side of a motorcycle, scooter, or bicycle, producing a three-wheeled vehicle.-History:A sidecar appeared in a cartoon by George Moore in the January 7, 1903, issue of the British newspaper Motor Cycling. Three weeks later, a provisional patent was...

 attached. Featuring a unique design copied from the Zündapp
Zündapp
Zündapp was a major German motorcycle manufacturer. The company was founded in 1917 in Nuremberg by Fritz Neumeyer, together with the Friedrich Krupp AG and the machine tool manufacturer Thiel under the name "Zünder- und Apparatebau G.m.b.H." as a producer of detonators...

 KS750, its sidecar wheel was also motor-driven. Combined with a lockable differential
Differential (mechanics)
A differential is a device, usually, but not necessarily, employing gears, capable of transmitting torque and rotation through three shafts, almost always used in one of two ways: in one way, it receives one input and provides two outputs—this is found in most automobiles—and in the other way, it...

, this made the vehicle very capable off-road, an equivalent in many ways to the Jeep
Willys MB
The Willys MB US Army Jeep and the Ford GPW, were manufactured from 1941 to 1945. These small four-wheel drive utility vehicles are considered the iconic World War II Jeep, and inspired many similar light utility vehicles. Over the years, the World War II Jeep later evolved into the "CJ" civilian...

.

In 1982, came the K Series, shaft drive but water-cooled and with either three or four cylinders mounted in a straight line from front to back. Shortly after, BMW also started making the chain-driven F and G series with single and parallel twin Rotax
Rotax
BRP-Powertrain GmbH & Co KG , commonly known simply as Rotax, is an Austrian engine manufacturer. It develops and produces four-stroke and advanced two-stroke engines for Bombardier Recreational Products products as well as for motorcycles, karts,...

 engines.

In the early 1990s, BMW updated the airhead
Airhead (motorcycle)
Airheads are the traditional BMW motorcycles with a flat-twin air-cooled engine that were built from 1923 to 1995...

 Boxer engine which became known as the oilhead
Oilhead
An oilhead is the name used for BMW motorcycle engines that advertise the use of oil cooling to transfer some of the heat from the engine to the atmosphere....

. In 2002, the oilhead engine had two spark plugs per cylinder. In 2004 it added a built-in balance shaft, an increased capacity to 1,170 cc and enhanced performance to 100 hp for the R1200GS
BMW R1200GS
The BMW R1200GS and R1200GS Adventure are motorcycles manufactured in Berlin, Germany by BMW Motorrad, part of the BMW group. It is one of the BMW GS family of dual sport motorcycles. Both motorcycles feature a 1,170 cc, 2-cylinder boxer engine with 4-valves per cylinder...

, compared to 85 hp of the previous R1150GS. More powerful variants of the oilhead engines are available in the R1100S and R1200S, producing 98 hp and 122 hp, respectively.

In 2004, BMW introduced the new K1200S Sports Bike which marked a departure for BMW. It features an engine producing 167 hp, derived from the company's work with the Williams F1 team, and is lighter than previous K models. Innovations include electronically adjustable front and rear suspension, and a Hossack-type front fork that BMW calls Duolever.

BMW introduced anti-lock brakes
Anti-lock braking system
An anti-lock braking system is a safety system that allows the wheels on a motor vehicle to continue interacting tractively with the road surface as directed by driver steering inputs while braking, preventing the wheels from locking up and therefore avoiding skidding.An ABS generally offers...

 on production motorcycles starting in the late 1980s. The generation of anti-lock brakes available on the 2006 and later BMW motorcycles pave the way for the introduction of electronic stability control
Electronic stability control
Electronic stability control is a computerized technology that may potentially improve the safety of a vehicle's stability by detecting and minimizing skids. When ESC detects loss of steering control, it automatically applies the brakes to help "steer" the vehicle where the driver intends to go...

, or anti-skid technology later in the 2007 model year.

BMW has been an innovator in motorcycle suspension design, taking up telescopic front suspension long before most other manufacturers. Then they switched to an Earles fork, front suspension by swinging fork (1955 to 1969). Most modern BMWs are truly rear swingarm, single sided at the back (compare with the regular swinging fork usually, and wrongly, called swinging arm).
Some BMWs started using yet another trademark front suspension design, the Telelever, in the early 1990s. Like the Earles fork, the Telelever significantly reduces dive under braking.

In July 2007, the Italian-made Husqvarna Motorcycles
Husqvarna Motorcycles
Husqvarna Motorcycles, a subsidiary of BMW, is a company manufacturing motocross, enduro and supermoto motorcycles. The company began producing motorcycles in 1903 at Huskvarna, Sweden, as a branch of the Husqvarna armament firm which had supplied the Swedish army with rifles since 1689.-History:As...

 was purchased by BMW
BMW Motorrad
BMW Motorrad is the motorcycle brand of the German company BMW, part of its Corporate and Brand Development division. The current General Director of the unit is Hendrik von Kuenheim....

 for a reported €93 million. BMW Motorrad plans to continue operating Husqvarna Motorcycles as a separate enterprise. All development, sales and production activities, as well as the current workforce, have remained in place at its present location at Varese. Husqvarna manufactures motocross
Motocross
Motocross is a form of motorcycle sport or all-terrain vehicle racing held on enclosed off road circuits. It evolved from trials, and was called scrambles, and later motocross, combining the French moto with cross-country...

, enduro
Enduro
Enduro is a form of motorcycle sport run on courses that are predominantly off-road. Enduro consists of many different obstacles and challenges...

 and supermoto
Supermoto
Supermoto is motorcycle racing on a circuit that alternates between three types of track: flat track, motocross and road racing, using motorcycles designed for that purpose...

 motorcycles.

New Class


The New Class (German: Neue Klasse) was a line of compact sedans and coupes starting with the 1962 1500 and continuing through the last 2002s in 1977. Powered by BMW's celebrated four-cylinder
Straight-4
The inline-four engine or straight-four engine is an internal combustion engine with all four cylinders mounted in a straight line, or plane along the crankcase. The single bank of cylinders may be oriented in either a vertical or an inclined plane with all the pistons driving a common crankshaft....

 M10
BMW M10
The BMW M10/M12 was a straight-4 piston engine produced from 1961 to 1987. Displacement ranged from 1499 cc to 1990 cc.The engine was designed by noted engineer and race driver Baron Alex von Falkenhausen. He was asked to design a small-displacement engine, but felt that this would be...

 engine, the New Class models featured a fully independent suspension
Independent suspension
Independent suspension is a broad term for any automobile suspension system that allows each wheel on the same axle to move vertically independently of each other. This is contrasted with a beam axle, live axle or deDion axle system in which the wheels are linked – movement on one side affects...

, MacPherson strut
MacPherson strut
The MacPherson strut is a type of car suspension system which uses the axis of a telescopic damper as the upper steering pivot. It is widely used in modern vehicles and named after Earle S. MacPherson, who developed the design.-History:...

s in front, and front disc brakes. Initially a family of four-door sedans and two-door coupes, the New Class line was broadened to two-door sports sedans with the addition of the 02 Series 1600 and 2002 in 1966.

Sharing little in common with the rest of the line beyond power train, the sporty siblings caught auto enthusiasts' attention and established BMW as an international brand. Precursors to the famed BMW 3 Series, the two-doors' success cemented the firm's future as an upper tier performance car maker. New Class four-doors with numbers ending in "0" were replaced by the larger BMW 5 Series
BMW 5 Series
The BMW 5 Series is a mid-size / executive car manufactured by BMW since 1972. The car, now in its sixth generation, is sold in sedan and touring body styles....

 in 1972. The upscale 2000C and 2000CS coupes were replaced by the six-cylinder
Straight-6
The straight-six engine or inline-six engine is a six-cylinder internal combustion engine with all six cylinders mounted in a straight line along the crankcase...

 BMW E9
BMW E9
-BMW 2.5CS:The last version of the E9 to be introduced was the 2.5CS in 1974. This was a response to the 1973 oil crisis, such that the buyer could choose the smaller, more economical engine. The engine, from the 2500 sedan, displaced and produced at 6000 revolutions per minute...

, introduced in 1969 with the 2800CS. The 1600 two-door was discontinued in 1975, the 2002 replaced by the 320i in 1975.

Current models



The 1 Series
BMW 1 Series
The BMW 1 Series is an entry level sports car produced by the German automaker BMW since 2004. The 1 Series is unusual in its class as it features rear-wheel drive, 50:50 weight balance, a longitudinally-mounted engine and an advanced aluminum multilink suspension...

, launched in 2004, is BMW's smallest car, and is available in coupe/convertible (E82/E88) and hatchback (E81/E87) forms. The 3 Series
BMW 3 Series
The BMW 3 Series is a compact executive car manufactured by the German automaker BMW since May 1975. Successor to the BMW New Class, it has been produced in five different generations and in no less than five different body styles. It is BMW's best-selling model, accounting for around 30% of the...

, a compact executive car
Compact executive car
Compact executive car is a car classification term applied to premium cars smaller than executive cars. In European classification, compact executive cars are part of the D-segment. In North American terms, close equivalents are compact premium car, compact luxury car, entry-level luxury car and...

 manufactured since model year
Model year
The model year of a product is a number used worldwide, but with a high level of prominence in North America, to describe approximately when a product was produced, and indicates the coinciding base specification of that product....

 1975, is currently in its fifth generation (E90
BMW E90
The saloon model was the first model sold of the 5th generation BMW 3 series. Debuting in the US in 2006, the E90 came in two trims, the 325i/xi and 330i/xi models...

); models include the sport sedan (E90), station wagon (E91), coupe (E92), and convertible (E93). The 5 Series
BMW 5 Series
The BMW 5 Series is a mid-size / executive car manufactured by BMW since 1972. The car, now in its sixth generation, is sold in sedan and touring body styles....

 is a mid-size
Mid-size car
A mid-size car is the North American/Australian standard for an automobile with a size equal to or greater than that of a compact...

 executive car
Executive car
Executive car is a British term that refers to a car's size and is used to describe an automobile larger than a large family car. In official use, the term is adopted by EuroNCAP, a European organisation founded to test car safety.- History :...

, available in sedan (F10) and station wagon (F11) forms. The 5 Series Gran Turismo
BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo
The BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo is an executive or mid-size car from German manufacturer BMW, which was first displayed at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show as a concept car...

 (F07), beginning in 2010, will create a segment between station wagons and crossover SUV.
BMW's full-size
Full-size car
A full-size car is a marketing term used in North America for an automobile larger than a mid-size car. In the United States, the EPA uses "large car" to denote full-size cars....

 flagship executive sedan is the 7 Series
BMW 7 Series
The BMW 7 Series is a line of full-size luxury vehicles produced by the German automaker BMW. Introduced in 1977, it is BMW's flagship car and is only available as a sedan or extended-length limousine...

. Typically, BMW introduces many of their innovations first in the 7 Series, such as the somewhat controversial iDrive
IDrive
iDrive is a computer system which is used to control most secondary vehicle systems in many current BMW cars. iDrive's user interface consists of a LCD panel mounted in the dashboard and a controller knob mounted on the center console....

 system. The 7 Series Hydrogen, featuring one of the world's first hydrogen
Hydrogen
Hydrogen is the chemical element with atomic number 1. It is represented by the symbol H. With an average atomic weight of , hydrogen is the lightest and most abundant chemical element, constituting roughly 75% of the Universe's chemical elemental mass. Stars in the main sequence are mainly...

 fueled internal combustion engines, is fueled by liquid hydrogen and emits only clean water vapor. The latest generation (F01) debuted in 2009. Based on the 5 Series' platform, the 6 Series
BMW 6 Series
BMW 6 Series refers to several generations of executive coupés produced by BMW.The first was the E24, being derived from the E12 & E28 5 Series 4-door sedans. The E24 launched in 1976 to replace the 3.0CS & 3.0CSi . 14 years later, in 2003, BMW released the all new E63/E64 which was available as a...

 is BMW's grand touring
Grand tourer
A grand tourer is a high-performance luxury automobile designed for long-distance driving. The most common format is a two-door coupé with either a two-seat or a 2+2 arrangement....

 luxury sport coupe/convertible (E63/E64). A 2-seater roadster
Roadster
A roadster is a two-seat open car with emphasis on sporty handling and without a fixed roof or side weather protection. Strictly speaking a roadster with wind-up windows is a convertible but as true roadsters are no longer made the distinction is now irrelevant...

 and coupe
Coupé
A coupé or coupe is a closed car body style , the precise definition of which varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, and over time...

 which succeeded the Z3
BMW Z3
The BMW Z3 was the first modern mass-market roadster produced by BMW, as well as the first new BMW model assembled in the United States. The Z3 was introduced as a 1996 model year vehicle, shortly after being featured in the James Bond movie,...

, the Z4
BMW Z4
The BMW Z4 is a rear-wheel drive sports car by the German car maker BMW. It follows a line of past BMW roadsters such as the BMW Z1, BMW 507, BMW Z8, and the BMW Z3. The Z4 replaces the Z3. First generation production started in 2002 at BMW USA's Greer, South Carolina plant, with production of both...

 (E85) has been sold since 2002.
The X3
BMW X3
The BMW X3 is a compact crossover SUV marketed by the German automaker BMW, based on the BMW 3-Series automobile platform, and now in its second generation. BMW designed the X3 in conjunction with Magna Steyr of Graz, Austria — who manufactured all X3s under contract to BMW for the first...

 (E83), BMW's second crossover SUV (called SAV
BMW Sports Activity Series
The sports activity vehicle and coupe series is a marketing description by BMW to describe a line of vehicles that traditionally were in the crossover Sport Utility Vehicle class....

 or "Sports Activity Vehicle" by BMW) debuted in 2003 and is based on the E46/16 3 Series platform. Marketed in Europe as an off-roader, it benefits from BMW's xDrive all-wheel drive system. The all-wheel drive X5
BMW X5
The BMW X5 is a luxury crossover SUV introduced in 1999 as the first generation E53. It was BMW's first SUV also known as "Four-by-Four" in the UK. It features all-wheel drive which is branded as the "X" drive system and is available with either manual or automatic transmission...

 (E70) was BMW's first crossover SUV (SAV), based on the 5 series, and is a mid-size luxury SUV (SAV) sold by BMW since 2000. A 4-seat crossover SUV released by BMW in December 2007, the X6
BMW X6
The BMW X6 is a mid-size luxury crossover released for sale in the second quarter of 2008 by German automaker BMW. The X6 was marketed as a Sports Activity Coupé by BMW...

 is marketed as a "Sports Activity Coupe" (SAC) by BMW. The upcoming X1
BMW X1
The BMW X1 is a compact luxury crossover manufactured by BMW. It extends the current BMW Sports Activity Series model lineup which includes the BMW X3, BMW X5, and the BMW X6. The X1 is based on the same platform as the BMW 3 Series Touring with xDrive...

 extends the BMW Sports Activity Series model lineup.
  • 1 Series (E81)
    BMW 1 Series (E81)
    The BMW 1 Series is an entry level sports car produced by the German automaker BMW since 2004. The 1 Series is unusual in its class as it features rear-wheel drive, 50:50 weight balance, a longitudinally-mounted engine and an advanced aluminum multilink suspension...

     (2004–present) Hatchback, coupe and convertible
  • 3 Series (E90) (2005–present) Sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon
  • 5 Series (F10)
    BMW 5 Series (F10)
    The sixth generation of the 5-Series made its debut on 23 November 2009 as a 2010 model. The Station Wagon/Touring version carries the chassis code F11...

     (2010–present) Sedan and Wagon
  • 5 Series Gran Turismo
    BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo
    The BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo is an executive or mid-size car from German manufacturer BMW, which was first displayed at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show as a concept car...

     (2009–present) Progressive Activity Sedan
  • 6 Series (F12)
    BMW F12/F13
    The BMW F12/F13 6 Series is a grand tourer automobile manufactured by BMW. BMW unveiled information and pictures in September 2010 of the Concept 6 Series, which was introduced at the 2010 Paris Motor Show...

     (2010–present) Coupe and convertible
  • 7 Series (F01) (2008–present) Sedan
  • X1
    BMW X1
    The BMW X1 is a compact luxury crossover manufactured by BMW. It extends the current BMW Sports Activity Series model lineup which includes the BMW X3, BMW X5, and the BMW X6. The X1 is based on the same platform as the BMW 3 Series Touring with xDrive...

     (2009–present) Compact Crossover SUV/Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV)
  • X3 (F25)
    BMW X3 (F25)
    The BMW F25 is the 2nd generation model of the BMW Sports Activity Series X3, on sale since 2010. The 2011 X3 was unveiled on July 14, 2010...

     (2010–present) Compact Crossover SUV/Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV)
  • X5 (E70)
    BMW X5 (E70)
    The BMW E70 is the development name for the current X5 Sports Activity Vehicle . It replaced the BMW X5 in November 2006. It is manufactured alongside the new, 2008 BMW X6 at BMW's Greer, South Carolina plant in the USA and BMW's facility in Toluca, Mexico.-Design:The new generation BMW X5 is ...

     (2006–present) Compact Crossover SUV/Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV)
  • X6
    BMW X6
    The BMW X6 is a mid-size luxury crossover released for sale in the second quarter of 2008 by German automaker BMW. The X6 was marketed as a Sports Activity Coupé by BMW...

     (2008–present) Sports Activity Coupe
  • Z4 (E89) (2009–present) Sports Roadster

M Models


A race-ready production vehicle. Since its debut, the M3 is heralded in enthusiast circles, in large part due to its unique geometry and award winning engines. The newest V8-powered platform became available the Autumn of 2007 in Europe, and second quarter of 2008 for the U.S. in coupe (E92), and later the cabriolet (E93), and sedan (E90) variants. Based on the 5 Series, the M5
BMW M5
The first BMW M5, based on the E28 5 Series, made its debut at Amsterdam Motor Show in February 1984. It was the product of demand for an automobile with the carrying capacity of a saloon , but the overall performance of a sports car. It utilized the 535i chassis and an evolution of the engine from...

 is the M division's V10-powered version of the E60 5 Series. The M6
BMW M6
The BMW M6, also known as the BMW M635CSi, is a high-performance version of the 6-Series automobile, designed by the motorsport division of BMW...

 is the M division's version of the 6 Series, and shares its drivetrain with the M5. The Z4 M, or M Coupe
BMW M Coupe
The BMW M Coupe is a Shooting-brake styled high-performance automobile produced by BMW. As of February 2009, two generations of the M Coupe have been manufactured, one based on the E36/8 Z3 Coupe and the second off of the E86 Z4 Coupe. Both generations have a "sister" Convertible/Roadster model...

/M Roadster
BMW M Roadster
The BMW M Roadster is the BMW M performance model of the BMW Z3 and BMW Z4 convertibles. It was produced between 1998 and 2002 and again during the 2006-2008 model years...

, is the M division's version of the Z4. The X5M is the M division's version of the X5, and the X6M is the M division's version of the X6. Both the X5M and X6M share the same V8 twin scroll twin turbo.
  • 1M: Based on 1 Series (E81) (2011–present) coupe
  • M3
    BMW M3
    The BMW M3 is a high-performance version of the BMW 3 Series, developed by BMW's in-house motorsport division, BMW M. M3 models have been derived from the E30, E36, E46 and E90/E92/E93 3-series, and sold with coupé, sedan and convertible body styles...

    : Based On The 3 Series (E90) (2007–present) Sedan, coupe and convertible
  • M5
    BMW M5
    The first BMW M5, based on the E28 5 Series, made its debut at Amsterdam Motor Show in February 1984. It was the product of demand for an automobile with the carrying capacity of a saloon , but the overall performance of a sports car. It utilized the 535i chassis and an evolution of the engine from...

    : Based On The 5 Series (F10) (2010–present) Sedan and Wagon
  • M6
    BMW M6
    The BMW M6, also known as the BMW M635CSi, is a high-performance version of the 6-Series automobile, designed by the motorsport division of BMW...

    : Based On The 6 Series (E63) (2005-2010) Coupe and convertible
  • X5-M
    BMW X5 (E70)
    The BMW E70 is the development name for the current X5 Sports Activity Vehicle . It replaced the BMW X5 in November 2006. It is manufactured alongside the new, 2008 BMW X6 at BMW's Greer, South Carolina plant in the USA and BMW's facility in Toluca, Mexico.-Design:The new generation BMW X5 is ...

    : Based On The X5 Series (E70) (2006–present) Compact Crossover SUV/Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV)
  • X6-M
    BMW X6
    The BMW X6 is a mid-size luxury crossover released for sale in the second quarter of 2008 by German automaker BMW. The X6 was marketed as a Sports Activity Coupé by BMW...

    : Based On The X6 Series (2008–present) Sports Activity Coupe

Motorsport


BMW has been engaged in motorsport
Motorsport
Motorsport or motorsports is the group of sports which primarily involve the use of motorized vehicles, whether for racing or non-racing competition...

 activities since the dawn of the first BMW motorcycle.

Motorsport sponsoring

  • Formula BMW
    Formula BMW
    Formula BMW is a junior racing formula for single seater cars. It is positioned at the bottom of the motorsport career ladder alongside the longer established Formula Ford category...

     – A Junior racing Formula
    Formula racing
    Formula racing is a term that refers to various forms of open wheeled single seater motorsport. Its origin lies in the nomenclature that was adopted by the FIA for all of its post-World War II single seater regulations, or formulae. The best known of these formulæ are Formula One, Formula Two, and...

     category.
  • Kumho BMW Championship
    Kumho BMW Championship
    The Kumho BMW Championship is a single make racing series based in the UK. Exclusively for BMWs, the championship is run by the BMW Racing Drivers Club in conjunction with the British Automobile Racing Club . The championship is a registered, BMW-exclusive motorsport series.-Introduction:The...

     – A BMW-exclusive championship run in the United Kingdom.

Motorcycle


  • Isle of Man TT
    Isle of Man TT
    The International Isle of Man TT Race is a motorcycle racing event held on the Isle of Man and was for many years the most prestigious motorcycle race in the world...

     – in 1939 BMW became the first foreign manufacturer to win the Isle of Man TT race with Georg Meier
    Georg Meier
    Georg Meier was a German motorcycle racer famous for being the first foreign winner of the prestigious Senior TT the Blue Riband race of the Isle of Man TT Races in 1939 riding for the factory BMW team and the first motor-cycle racer to lap a Grand Prix course at over 100mph.-Biography:Meier was...

  • Dakar Rally
    Dakar Rally
    The Dakar Rally is an annual rally raid type of off-road automobile race, organised by the Amaury Sport Organisation...

     – BMW motorcycles have won the Dakar rally six times. In 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1999, and 2000.
  • Superbike World Championship
    Superbike World Championship
    Superbike World Championship is the worldwide Superbike racing Championship. The championship was founded in . The Superbike World Championship season consists of a series of rounds held on permanent racing facilities...

     – BMW returned to premier road racing in 2009 with their all new superbike, the BMW S1000RR
    BMW S1000RR
    The BMW S1000RR is a sport bike initially manufactured by BMW Motorrad to compete in the 2009 Superbike World Championship, that is now in commercial production...

    .

Formula One



BMW has a history of success in Formula One
Formula One
Formula One, also known as Formula 1 or F1 and referred to officially as the FIA Formula One World Championship, is the highest class of single seater auto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile . The "formula" designation in the name refers to a set of rules with which...

. BMW powered cars have won 20 races. In 2006 BMW took over the Sauber
Sauber
Sauber F1 Team is a Swiss Formula One team. It was founded in the 1970s by Peter Sauber, who progressed through hillclimbing and the World Sportscar Championship to reach Formula One in 1993....

 team and became Formula One constructors. In 2007 and 2008 the team enjoyed some success. The most recent win is a lone constructor team's victory by BMW Sauber F1 Team, on 8 June 2008, at the Canadian Grand Prix
Canadian Grand Prix
The Canadian Grand Prix , abbreviated as gpc, is an annual auto race held in Canada starting in 1961. It has been part of the Formula One World Championship since 1967...

 with Robert Kubica
Robert Kubica
Robert Józef Kubica is the first Polish racing driver to compete in Formula One. Between 2006 and 2009 he drove for the BMW Sauber F1 team, promoted from test driver to race driver during 2006...

 driving. Achievements include:
  • Driver championship: 1 (1983)
  • Constructor championship: 0 (Runner-up 2002, 2003, 2007)
  • Grand Prix wins: 20
  • Podium finishes: 76
  • Pole positions: 33
  • Fastest laps: 33


BMW was an engine supplier to Williams
WilliamsF1
Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited, trading as AT&T Williams, is a British Formula One motor racing team and constructor. It was founded and run by Sir Frank Williams and Patrick Head...

, Benetton
Benetton Formula
Benetton Formula Ltd., commonly referred to simply as Benetton, was a Formula One constructor that participated from to . The team was owned by the Benetton family who run a worldwide chain of clothing stores of the same name. In 2000 the team was purchased by Renault, but competed as Benetton for...

, Brabham, and Arrows
Arrows
Arrows Grand Prix International was a British Formula One team active from to . For a period of time, it was also known as Footwork.-Origins :...

. Notable drivers who have started their Formula One careers with BMW include Jenson Button
Jenson Button
Jenson Alexander Lyons Button MBE is a British Formula One driver currently signed to McLaren. He was the 2009 World Drivers' Champion.Button began karting at the age of eight and achieved early success, before progressing to car racing in the British Formula Ford Championship and the British...

, Juan Pablo Montoya
Juan Pablo Montoya
Juan Pablo Montoya Roldán is a Colombian race car driver known internationally for participating and winning in Formula One and CART race competitions. He has enjoyed great success. Currently, he competes in NASCAR, driving the #42 Target Chevrolet Impala for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing in the Sprint...

, Robert Kubica
Robert Kubica
Robert Józef Kubica is the first Polish racing driver to compete in Formula One. Between 2006 and 2009 he drove for the BMW Sauber F1 team, promoted from test driver to race driver during 2006...

 and Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel is a German Formula One racing driver, currently driving for Red Bull Racing. He is the current World Champion, having won the championship in and ....

.

In July 2009, BMW announced that it would withdraw from Formula One at the end of the 2009 season. The team was sold back to the previous owner, Peter Sauber, who kept the BMW part of the name for the 2010 season due to issues with the Concorde Agreement
Concorde Agreement
The Concorde Agreement is a contract between the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile , the Formula One teams and the Formula One Administration which dictates the terms by which the teams compete in races and take their share of the television revenues and prize money...

. The team has since dropped BMW from their name starting in 2011.

Sports car

  • Le Mans 24 Hours – BMW won Le Mans in 1999 with the BMW V12 LMR designed by Williams Grand Prix Engineering. Also the Kokusai Kaihatsu Racing team won the 1995 edition
    1995 24 Hours of Le Mans
    The 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans was the 63rd Grand Prix of Endurance, and took place on June 17 and 18 1995.-Race:The 1995 race was won by a McLaren F1 GTR entered in the GT1 category. The car was already well known for dominating the BPR Global GT Series with customer teams, but the car that won was...

     with a BMW-engined McLaren F1 GTR
    McLaren F1 GTR
    The McLaren F1 GTR was a racing variant of the McLaren F1 sports car first produced in 1995 for grand touring style racing, such as the BPR Global GT Series, FIA GT Championship, JGTC, and British GT Championship. It is most famous for its overall victory at the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans where it...

     race car.
  • Nürburgring
    Nürburgring
    The Nürburgring is a motorsport complex around the village of Nürburg, Germany. It features a modern Grand Prix race track built in 1984, and a much longer old North loop track which was built in the 1920s around the village and medieval castle of Nürburg in the Eifel mountains. It is located about...

     – BMW won the 24 Hours Nürburgring
    24 Hours Nürburgring
    The 24 Hours Nürburgring is a touring car and GT endurance racing event on the Nürburgring Nordschleife . With a lap length of over , it allows the participation of more than 200 cars, and over 700 drivers.-Overview:...

     18 times and the 1000km Nürburgring
    1000km Nürburgring
    The ADAC 1000 km Nürburgring is an endurance race for sports cars held on the Nürburgring in Germany and organized by the ADAC since 1953.- History :...

     twice (1976 and 1981).
  • 24 Hours of Daytona
    24 Hours of Daytona
    The 24 Hours of Daytona, currently known as the Rolex 24 Daytona for sponsorship reasons, is a 24-hour sports car endurance race held annually at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. It is run on a combined road course, utilizing portions of the NASCAR tri-oval and an infield...

     – BMW won 2 times (1976, 2011)
  • Spa 24 Hours
    Spa 24 Hours
    The Total 24 Hours of Spa is an endurance racing event held annually in Belgium at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. Conceived by Jules de Their and Henri Langlois Van Ophem just one year after the first 24 Hours of Le Mans, the race was run under the auspices of the Royal Automobile Club Belgium...

     – BMW won 21 times
  • McLaren F1 GTR
    McLaren F1 GTR
    The McLaren F1 GTR was a racing variant of the McLaren F1 sports car first produced in 1995 for grand touring style racing, such as the BPR Global GT Series, FIA GT Championship, JGTC, and British GT Championship. It is most famous for its overall victory at the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans where it...

     – Successful mid-1990s GT racing car with a BMW designed engine. It won the BPR Global GT Series
    BPR Global GT Series
    The BPR Global GT Series was a grand tourer-based sports car racing series which ran from 1994 to 1996 before becoming the FIA GT Championship in 1997...

     in 1995 and 1996 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans
    24 Hours of Le Mans
    The 24 Hours of Le Mans is the world's oldest sports car race in endurance racing, held annually since near the town of Le Mans, France. Commonly known as the Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency, race teams have to balance speed against the cars' ability to run for 24 hours without sustaining...

     in 1995
    1995 24 Hours of Le Mans
    The 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans was the 63rd Grand Prix of Endurance, and took place on June 17 and 18 1995.-Race:The 1995 race was won by a McLaren F1 GTR entered in the GT1 category. The car was already well known for dominating the BPR Global GT Series with customer teams, but the car that won was...

    .

Touring car


BMW has a long and successful history in touring car racing
Touring car racing
Touring car racing is a general term for a number of distinct auto racing competitions in heavily-modified street cars. It is notably popular in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Germany, Japan, Scandinavia and Britain.-Characteristics of a touring car:...

.
  • European Touring Car Championship
    European Touring Car Championship
    The European Touring Car Championship was an international touring car racing series organised by the FIA. It had two incarnations, the first one between 1963 and 1988, and the second between 2000 and 2004...

     (ETCC) – Since 1968, BMW won 24 drivers' championships along with several manufacturers' and teams' titles.
  • World Touring Car Championship
    World Touring Car Championship
    For the video game, known as World Touring Car Championship in Japan, see TOCA World Touring CarsThe FIA World Touring Car Championship is an international Touring Car championship sanctioned by the FIA.-History:...

     (WTCC) – BMW won four drivers' championship (1987
    1987 World Touring Car Championship season
    The 1987 World Touring Car Championship season was the inaugural World Touring Car Championship season. It commenced on March 22, 1987 and ended on November 15 after eleven races. The championship was open to Touring Cars complying with FIA Group A regulations.-Drivers and teams:Fifteen registered...

    , 2005
    2005 World Touring Car Championship season
    The 2005 World Touring Car Championship season was the second World Touring Car Championship season, and the first since 1987. It featured a ten event, twenty race series which commenced on April 10, 2005 and ended on November 20...

    , 2006
    2006 World Touring Car Championship season
    The 2006 World Touring Car Championship season was the 3rd season of FIA World Touring Car Championship motor racing. It featured a ten event, twenty race series which commenced on April 2, 2006 and ended on November 19...

     and 2007
    2007 World Touring Car Championship season
    The 2007 World Touring Car Championship season was the 4th season of FIA World Touring Car Championship motor racing. The championship, which commenced on March 11 and ended on November 18, after twenty-two races, was open to Super 2000 Cars, Diesel 2000 Cars and Super Production Cars as defined by...

    ) and three manufacturers' titles (2005–2007).
  • DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft
    Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft
    The Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft was a touring car racing series held from 1984 to 1996. Originally based in Germany, it held additional rounds elsewhere in Europe and later worldwide....

    ) – the following won the DTM drivers' championship driving BMWs:
    • 1989: Roberto Ravaglia
      Roberto Ravaglia
      Roberto Ravaglia is a former auto racing driver, who currently runs ROAL Motorsport, who operate the BMW Team Italy-Spain operation in the World Touring Car Championship...

      , BMW M3
    • 1987: Eric van der Poele, BMW M3
  • The DRM (Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft
    Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft
    Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft or simply DRM as it was known, was a touring car and Sportscar racing series...

    ) was won by Harald Ertl
    Harald Ertl
    Harald Ertl was an Austrian motorsport journalist and racing driver.-Career:Ertl was born in Zell am See and attended the same school as drivers Jochen Rindt and Helmut Marko, so he had an early relation to motorsports. In 1969 he bought a Formula 5, won six races, but also rolled at the Nürburgring...

     in a BMW 320i
    BMW E21
    BMW E21 is the body designation for the first BMW 3 Series compact executive car, produced by the German automaker BMW from 1975 to 1983. This series was the immediate successor to the BMW 2002 and was superseded by the BMW E30 platform....

     Turbo in 1978
  • British Touring Car Championship
    British Touring Car Championship
    The British Touring Car Championship is a touring car racing series held each year in the United Kingdom. The Championship was established in 1958 as the British Saloon Car Championship and has run to various rules over the years – "production cars", then FIA Group 1 or 2 in the late 1960s...

     (BTCC) – BMW won the drivers' championship in 1988, 1991, 1992 and 1993 and manufacturers' championship in 1991 and 1993.
  • SCCA Pro Racing World Challenge Touring Car Series(WC) – BMW won the manufacturer's championship in 2001 and Bill Auberlen, driving a Turner Motorsport BMW 325i, won the 2003 and 2004 Driver's Championships.
  • Japanese Touring Car Championship
    Japanese Touring Car Championship
    The Japanese Touring Car Championship , is a former touring car racing series held in Japan...

     (JTCC) – BMW (Schnitzer
    Schnitzer Motorsport
    Schnitzer Motorsport is a motorsport team based in Freilassing near Munich, Germany. From the early days of its establishment, the team has operated an automobile racing squad for BMW, and has remarkable results in touring car and sports car racing scenes....

    ) flew from Europe to Japan to compete in the JTCC and won the championship in 1995.
  • Mille Miglia
    Mille Miglia
    The Mille Miglia was an open-road endurance race which took place in Italy twenty-four times from 1927 to 1957 ....

     – BMW won Mille Miglia in 1940 in with a 328
    BMW 328
    The BMW 328 is a sports car made by BMW between 1936 and 1940, with the body design credited to Peter Szymanowski, who became BMW chief of design after World War II ....

     Touring Coupé. Previously in 1938 the 328 sport car also obtained a class victory.


BMW announced on 15 October 2010 that it will return to touring car racing
Touring car racing
Touring car racing is a general term for a number of distinct auto racing competitions in heavily-modified street cars. It is notably popular in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Germany, Japan, Scandinavia and Britain.-Characteristics of a touring car:...

 during the 2012 season. Dr. Klaus Draeger, who is in charge of the return to DTM racing (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters
Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters
The Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters is a touring car racing series based in Germany, but also with rounds elsewhere in Europe....

), commented that “The return of BMW to the DTM is a fundamental part of the restructuring of our motorsport activities. With its increased commitment to production car racing, BMW is returning to its roots. The race track is the perfect place to demonstrate the impressive sporting characteristics of our vehicles against our core competitors in a high-powered environment. The DTM is the ideal stage on which to do this.”

Rally

  • RAC Rally – The 328 sport car
    BMW 328
    The BMW 328 is a sports car made by BMW between 1936 and 1940, with the body design credited to Peter Szymanowski, who became BMW chief of design after World War II ....

     won this event in 1939.
  • Paris Dakar Rally – BMW motorcycles have won this event 6 times.
  • Tour de Corse
    Tour de Corse
    The Tour de Corse - Rallye de France is a rally first held in 1956 on the island of Corsica. It was part of the World Rally Championship from the inaugural 1973 season to 2008. The name "Tour de Corse" refers to the fact that in the early days it was run around the island; nowadays it only features...

     – The BMW M3 – E30
    BMW M3
    The BMW M3 is a high-performance version of the BMW 3 Series, developed by BMW's in-house motorsport division, BMW M. M3 models have been derived from the E30, E36, E46 and E90/E92/E93 3-series, and sold with coupé, sedan and convertible body styles...

     won this event in 1987

Sport sponsorship beyond motor sport


BMW sponsors many other sports beyond motorsport. It is an official sponsor of the London 2012 olympics providing 4000 BMWs and Minis in a deal made in November 2009. The company also made a six-year sponsorship deal with the United States Olympic Committee
United States Olympic Committee
The United States Olympic Committee is a non-profit organization that serves as the National Olympic Committee and National Paralympic Committee for the United States and coordinates the relationship between the United States Anti-Doping Agency and the World Anti-Doping Agency and various...

 (USOC) in July 2010.

BMW has sponsored various European golf events such as the PGA Championship
PGA Championship
The PGA Championship is an annual golf tournament conducted by the PGA of America as part of the PGA Tour. It is one of the four major championships in men's professional golf, and is the golf season's final major, usually played in mid-August, customarily four weeks after The Open Championship...

 at Wentworth, the BMW Italian Open and the BMW International Open
BMW International Open
The BMW International Open is an annual men's professional golf tournament on the European Tour. Founded in 1989, it has always been held in and around BMW's home city of Munich, Germany, and since 1997 has been played at the Golfclub München Eichenried....

 in Germany.

Environmental record


The company is a charter member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) National Environmental Achievement Track, which recognises companies for their environmental stewardship and performance. It is also a member of the South Carolina Environmental Excellence Program and is on the Dow Jones Sustainability Group Index, which rates environmentally friendly companies.
BMW has taken measures to reduce the impact the company has on the environment. It is trying to design less-polluting cars by making existing models more efficient, as well as developing environmentally friendly fuels for future vehicles. Possibilities include: electric power, hybrid power (combustion engines and electric motors) hydrogen engines.

BMW offers 49 models with EU5/6 emissions norm and nearly 20 models with CO2 output less than 140 g/km, which puts it on the lowest tax group and therefore could provide the future owner with eco-bonus offered from some European countries.

However, there have been some criticisms directed at BMW, and in particular, accusations of greenwash
Greenwash
Greenwashing , or "green sheen", is a form of spin in which green PR or green marketing is deceptively used to promote the perception that a company's policies or products are environmentally friendly.-Usage:...

 in reference to their BMW Hydrogen 7. Some critics claim that the emissions produced during hydrogen fuel
Hydrogen fuel
An ecologically-friendly fuel which uses electrochemical cells or combusts in internal engines to power vehicles and electric devices. It is also used in the propulsion of spacecraft and can potentially be mass produced and commercialized for passenger vehicles and aircraft.In a flame of pure...

 production outweigh the reduction of tailpipe emissions, and that the Hydrogen 7 is a distraction from more immediate, practical solutions for car pollution.

Bicycles


BMW has created a range of high-end bicycles sold online and through dealerships. They range from the Kid's Bike to the EUR 4,499 Enduro Bike. In the United States, only the Cruise Bike and Kid's Bike models are sold.

BMW nomenclature


BMW vehicles follow a certain nomenclature
Nomenclature
Nomenclature is a term that applies to either a list of names or terms, or to the system of principles, procedures and terms related to naming - which is the assigning of a word or phrase to a particular object or property...

; usually a 3 digit number is followed by 1 or 2 letters. The first number represents the series number. The next two numbers traditionally represent the engine displacement
Engine displacement
Engine displacement is the volume swept by all the pistons inside the cylinders of an internal combustion engine in a single movement from top dead centre to bottom dead centre . It is commonly specified in cubic centimeters , litres , or cubic inches...

 in cubic centimeters divided by 100. However, more recent cars use those two numbers as a performance index, as e.g. the 116i, 118i and 120i (all 2,0L gas-powered), just like the 325d and 330d (both 3,0L diesel) share the same motor block while adjusting engine power through setup and turbocharging. A similar nomenclature is used by BMW Motorrad
BMW Motorrad
BMW Motorrad is the motorcycle brand of the German company BMW, part of its Corporate and Brand Development division. The current General Director of the unit is Hendrik von Kuenheim....

 for their motorcycles.

The system of letters can be used in combination, and is as follows:
  • A = automatic transmission
    Automatic transmission
    An automatic transmission is one type of motor vehicle transmission that can automatically change gear ratios as the vehicle moves, freeing the driver from having to shift gears manually...

  • C = coupé
    Coupé
    A coupé or coupe is a closed car body style , the precise definition of which varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, and over time...

    , last used on the BMW E46
    BMW E46
    The BMW E46 is the fourth generation of the 3 Series compact executive cars produced by BMW, produced from 1998 when it succeeded the BMW E36 until it was replaced by the BMW E90 in 2005....

     and the BMW E63 (dropped after 2005 model year)
  • c = cabriolet
    Convertible
    A convertible is a type of automobile in which the roof can retract and fold away having windows which wind-down inside the doors, converting it from an enclosed to an open-air vehicle...

  • d = diesel
    Diesel engine
    A diesel engine is an internal combustion engine that uses the heat of compression to initiate ignition to burn the fuel, which is injected into the combustion chamber...

  • e = eta
    BMW M20
    The M20 is an inline-6 piston engine by BMW.Initially designated M60, the 12-valve, belt driven SOHC design was introduced in the 1977 BMW 520/6 and 320/6 as an entirely new design. With displacements ranging from 2.0 to 2.7 liters, it was the "little brother" to the larger BMW M30 engine. It had ...

     (efficient economy, from the Greek letter 'η'
    ETA
    ETA , an acronym for Euskadi Ta Askatasuna is an armed Basque nationalist and separatist organization. The group was founded in 1959 and has since evolved from a group promoting traditional Basque culture to a paramilitary group with the goal of gaining independence for the Greater Basque Country...

    )
  • g = compressed natural gas/CNG
    Compressed natural gas
    Compressed natural gas is a fossil fuel substitute for gasoline , diesel, or propane/LPG. Although its combustion does produce greenhouse gases, it is a more environmentally clean alternative to those fuels, and it is much safer than other fuels in the event of a spill...

  • h = hydrogen
    Hydrogen
    Hydrogen is the chemical element with atomic number 1. It is represented by the symbol H. With an average atomic weight of , hydrogen is the lightest and most abundant chemical element, constituting roughly 75% of the Universe's chemical elemental mass. Stars in the main sequence are mainly...

  • i = fuel-injected
    Fuel injection
    Fuel injection is a system for admitting fuel into an internal combustion engine. It has become the primary fuel delivery system used in automotive petrol engines, having almost completely replaced carburetors in the late 1980s....

  • L = long wheelbase
    Wheelbase
    In both road and rail vehicles, the wheelbase is the distance between the centers of the front and rear wheels.- Road :In automobiles, the wheelbase is the horizontal distance between the center of the front wheel and the center of the rear wheel...

  • s = sport, also means "2 dr" on E36 model††
  • sDrive = rear wheel drive
  • T = touring (wagon/estate)
    Station wagon
    A station wagon is a body style variant of a sedan/saloon with its roof extended rearward over a shared passenger/cargo volume with access at the back via a third or fifth door , instead of a trunk lid...

  • Ti = hatchback
    Hatchback
    A Hatchback is a car body style incorporating a shared passenger and cargo volume, with rearmost accessibility via a rear third or fifth door, typically a top-hinged liftgate—and features such as fold-down rear seats to enable flexibility within the shared passenger/cargo volume. As a two-box...

     for the BMW 3 Series hatchback
    BMW Compact
    The BMW Compact is a compact car / small family car, basically a truncated liftback version of the BMW 3 Series, produced by the German automaker BMW between 1993 and 2004. From 1994, it was based on the BMW E36 platform, switching to the BMW E46 platform in 2001...

  • x / xDrive = BMW xDrive
    BMW xDrive
    BMW xDrive is BMW's four-wheel drive system that powers the X1, X3, X5, X6 and 2006 and later xd and xi 3 Series, 5 Series and 7 Series models. BMW confirmed it has ....

     all wheel drive


historic nomenclature indicating "td" refers to "Turbo Diesel", not a diesel hatchback or touring model (524td, 525td)

†† typically includes sport seats, spoiler, aerodynamic body kit, upgraded wheels and Limit Slip Differential on pre-95 model etc.

For example, the BMW 750iL is a fuel-injected 7 Series with a long wheelbase and 5.4  liters of displacement. This badge was used for successive generations, E65 and F01, except the "i" and "L" switched places, so it read "Li" instead of "iL".

When 'L' supersedes the series number (e.g. L6, L7, etc.) it identifies the vehicle as a special luxury variant, featuring extended leather and special interior appointments. The L7 is based on the E23 and E38, and the L6 is based on the E24.

When 'X' is capitalised and supersedes the series number (e.g. X3, X5, etc.) it identifies the vehicle as one of BMW's Sports Activity Vehicles (SAV), their brand of crossovers, featuring BMW's xDrive
BMW xDrive
BMW xDrive is BMW's four-wheel drive system that powers the X1, X3, X5, X6 and 2006 and later xd and xi 3 Series, 5 Series and 7 Series models. BMW confirmed it has ....

. The second number in the 'X' series denotes the platform that it is based upon, for instance the X5 is derived from the 5 Series. Unlike BMW cars, the SAV's main badge does not denote engine size, the engine is instead indicated on side badges.

The 'Z' identifies the vehicle as a two seat roadster (e.g. Z1, Z3, Z4, etc.). 'M' variants of 'Z' models have the 'M' as a suffix or prefix, depending on country of sale (e.g. 'Z4 M' is 'M Roadster' in Canada).

Previous X & Z vehicles had 'i' or 'si' following the engine displacement number (denoted in liters). BMW is now globally standardising this nomenclature on X & Z vehicles by using 'sDrive' or 'xDrive' (simply meaning rear or all wheel drive, respectively) followed by two numbers which vaguely represent the vehicle's engine (e.g. Z4 sDrive35i is a rear wheel drive Z4 roadster with a 3.0 L twin-turbo fuel-injected engine).

BMW last used the 's' for the E36 328is, which ceased production in 1999. However, the 's' nomenclature was brought back on the 2011 model year BMW 335is and BMW Z4 sDrive35is. The 335is is a sport-tuned trim with more performance and an optional dual clutch transmission
Dual clutch transmission
A dual clutch transmission, commonly abbreviated to DCT , is a differing type of semi-automatic or automated manual automotive transmission. It utilises two separate clutches for odd and even gear sets...

 that slots between the regular 335i and top-of-the-line M3
BMW M3
The BMW M3 is a high-performance version of the BMW 3 Series, developed by BMW's in-house motorsport division, BMW M. M3 models have been derived from the E30, E36, E46 and E90/E92/E93 3-series, and sold with coupé, sedan and convertible body styles...

.

The 'M' – for Motorsport
BMW M
BMW M GmbH is a subsidiary of German car manufacturer BMW AG.BMW M, also known as M-Technik or just "M" was initially created to facilitate BMW’s racing program, which was very successful in the 1960s and 1970s...

 – identifies the vehicle as a high-performance model of a particular series (e.g. M3, M5, M6, etc.). For example, the M6 is the highest performing vehicle in the 6 Series lineup. Although 'M' cars should be separated into their respective series platforms, it is very common to see 'M' cars grouped together as its own lineup on the official BMW website.

Exceptions


There are exceptions to the numbering nomenclature.

The M version of the BMW 1 Series
BMW 1 Series
The BMW 1 Series is an entry level sports car produced by the German automaker BMW since 2004. The 1 Series is unusual in its class as it features rear-wheel drive, 50:50 weight balance, a longitudinally-mounted engine and an advanced aluminum multilink suspension...

 was named the BMW 1 Series M Coupe rather than the traditional style "M1" due to the possible confusion with BMW's former BMW M1
BMW M1
The BMW M1 is a sports car that was produced by German automaker BMW from 1978 to 1981.In the late 1970s, Italian manufacturer Lamborghini entered into an agreement with BMW to build a production racing car in sufficient quantity for homologation. The result was sold to the public, from 1978 to...

 homologation sports car.

The M versions of the Sports Activity Vehicles, such as the BMW X5 M, could not follow the regular naming convention since MX5 was used for Mazda
Mazda
is a Japanese automotive manufacturer based in Fuchū, Aki District, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan.In 2007, Mazda produced almost 1.3 million vehicles for global sales...

's MX-5 Miata
Mazda MX-5
The MX-5, also known as Miata in North America and Eunos Roadster in Japan, is a lightweight two-seater roadster, of front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout, built by Mazda in Hiroshima, Japan. The model was introduced in 1989 at the Chicago Auto Show...

.

For instance in the 2008 model year, the BMW 125i/128i, 328i, and 528i all had 3.0 naturally aspirated engines (N52
BMW N52
The BMW N52 is a straight-6 engine made by BMW, which debuted in 2004 on the BMW E63 630Ci. The N52 is BMW's 12th generation production straight-6 engine.Its crankcase is made entirely of magnesium and aluminum, a first in the world of engine construction...

), not a 2,500 cc or 2,800 cc engine as the series designation number would lead one to believe. The '28' is to denote a detuned engine in the 2008 cars, compared to the 2006 model year '30' vehicles (330i and 530i) whose 3.0 naturally aspirated engines are from the same N52 family but had more output.

The 2008 BMW 335i and 535i also have 3.0-liter engine; however the engines are twin-turbocharged
Turbocharger
A turbocharger, or turbo , from the Greek "τύρβη" is a centrifugal compressor powered by a turbine that is driven by an engine's exhaust gases. Its benefit lies with the compressor increasing the mass of air entering the engine , thereby resulting in greater performance...

 (N54
BMW N54
The N54 is a direct injection twin-turbocharged straight-6 automobile engine from BMW. It was launched in late 2006 as a high-performance option for the BMW 3-Series, first to be released along with the new 3-series E92 Coupé, to be followed closely by other existing 3-series models, then with...

) which is not identified by the nomenclature. Nonetheless the '35' indicates a more powerful engine than previous '30' models that have the naturally aspirated N52 engine
BMW N52
The BMW N52 is a straight-6 engine made by BMW, which debuted in 2004 on the BMW E63 630Ci. The N52 is BMW's 12th generation production straight-6 engine.Its crankcase is made entirely of magnesium and aluminum, a first in the world of engine construction...

. The 2011 BMW 740i and 335is shares the same twin-turbo 3.0 engine from the N54 family but tuned to higher outputs, although the badging is not consistent ('40' and 's').

The E36 and E46 323i and E39 523i had 2.5-liter engines. The E36 318i made after 1996 has a 1.9 L engine (M44
BMW M44
The BMW M44 is a DOHC 16-valve I4 piston engine. It replaced BMW's previous multi-valve four-cylinder, the BMW M42 and was related to the lesser 8-valve BMW M43...

) as opposed to the 1.8 L (M42
BMW M42
The BMW M42 is a DOHC 16-valve I4 piston engine first built for the E30 318is and 318i 1991 year model. The engine block is based on the BMW M40, used on the 318i, but had distinctive features such as double overhead cams driven by a timing chain, hydraulic valve lifters, and an increased 10:1...

) used in the 1992 to 1995 models.

The badging for recent V8 engines (N62
BMW N62
The N62 is a V8 from BMW, built in Munich, Germany. It has an Alusil aluminum engine block and aluminum DOHC cylinder heads.It uses SFI fuel injection, has 4 valves per cylinder with BMW's double-VANOS and Valvetronic technologies and features fracture-split forged powdered metal connecting...

 and N63
BMW N63
The N63 is a family of 4.4L, direct-injected, twin-turbocharged V8 automobile engines produced by BMW since 2008.-Specifications:The N63B44 features a reverse-flow air design in which the turbochargers are mounted in the engine valley and the intake manifolds are located on the sides of the block...

) also does not indicate displacement, as the 2006 750i and 2009 750i have 4800 cc (naturally aspirated) and 4400 cc (twin-turbocharged) engines, respectively.

Community



From the summer of 2001 until October 2005, BMW hosted the website, showcasing sporty models being driven to extremes. These videos are still popular within the enthusiast community and proved to be a ground-breaking online advertising campaign.

Annually since 1999, BMW enthusiasts have met in Santa Barbara, CA to attend Bimmerfest. One of the largest brand-specific gatherings in the U.S., over 3,000 people attended in 2006, and over 1,000 BMW cars were present. In 2007, the event was held on 5 May.

BMW slang


The initials BMW are pronounced ˈbeː ˈɛm ˈveː in German. The model series are referred to as "Einser" ("One-er" for 1 series), "Dreier" ("Three-er" for 3 series), "Fünfer" ("Five-er" for the 5 series), "Sechser" ("Six-er" for the 6 series), "Siebener" ("Seven-er" for the 7 series). These are not actually slang, but are the normal way that such letters and numbers are pronounced in German.

The English slang terms Beemer, Bimmer and Bee-em are variously used for BMWs of all kinds, cars, and motorcycles.

In the US, specialists have been at pains to prescribe
Linguistic prescription
In linguistics, prescription denotes normative practices on such aspects of language use as spelling, grammar, pronunciation, and syntax. It includes judgments on what usages are socially proper and politically correct...

 that a distinction must be made between using Beemer exclusively to describe BMW motorcycles, and using Bimmer only to refer to BMW cars, in the manner of a "true aficionado" and avoid appearing to be "uninitiated."
The Canadian Globe and Mail prefers Bimmer and calls Beemer a "yuppie abomination," while the Tacoma News Tribune
Tacoma News Tribune
The News Tribune is a daily newspaper in Tacoma, Washington, in the United States.-History:It can trace its origins back to the founding of the weekly Tacoma Ledger by R.F. Radabaugh in 1880. The next year, H.C. Patrick founded The News, another weekly. Both papers became dailies in 1883. In 1898,...

says it is a distinction made by "auto snobs." Using the wrong slang risks offending BMW enthusiasts. An editor of Business Week was satisfied in 2003 that the question was resolved in favor of Bimmer by noting that a Google search yielded 10 times as many hits compared to Beemer.

The arts


Manufacturers employ designer
Industrial design
Industrial design is the use of a combination of applied art and applied science to improve the aesthetics, ergonomics, and usability of a product, but it may also be used to improve the product's marketability and production...

s for their cars, but BMW has made efforts to gain recognition for exceptional contributions to and support of the arts, including art beyond motor vehicle design. These efforts typically overlap or complement BMW's marketing and branding campaigns. The headquarters building
BMW Headquarters
BMW Headquarters is a Munich landmark, which has been serving as world headquarters for the Bavarian automaker for over 30 years. It was declared a protected historic building in 1999. Extensive refurbishments commenced in 2004 and were completed in 2006....

, designed in 1972 by Karl Schwanzer has become a European icon, and artist Gerhard Richter
Gerhard Richter
Gerhard Richter is a German visual artist. Richter has simultaneously produced abstract and photorealistic painted works, as well as photographs and glass pieces, thus undermining the concept of the artist’s obligation to maintain a single cohesive style.- Biography :Gerhard Richter was born in...

 created his Red, Yellow, Blue series of paintings for the building's lobby. In 1975, Alexander Calder
Alexander Calder
Alexander Calder was an American sculptor and artist most famous for inventing mobile sculptures. In addition to mobile and stable sculpture, Alexander Calder also created paintings, lithographs, toys, tapestry, jewelry and household objects.-Childhood:Alexander "Sandy" Calder was born in Lawnton,...

 was commissioned to paint the 3.0CSL driven by Hervé Poulain at the 24 Hours of Le Mans
24 Hours of Le Mans
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is the world's oldest sports car race in endurance racing, held annually since near the town of Le Mans, France. Commonly known as the Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency, race teams have to balance speed against the cars' ability to run for 24 hours without sustaining...

. This led to more BMW Art Car
BMW Art Car
The BMW Art Car Project was introduced by the French racecar driver and auctioneer Hervé Poulain, who wanted to invite an artist to create a canvas on an automobile. It was in 1975, when Poulain commissioned American artist and friend Alexander Calder to paint the first BMW Art Car...

s, painted by artists including David Hockney
David Hockney
David Hockney, CH, RA, is an English painter, draughtsman, printmaker, stage designer and photographer, who is based in Bridlington, Yorkshire and Kensington, London....

, Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer is an American conceptual artist. Holzer lives and works in Hoosick Falls, New York.-Education:...

, Roy Lichtenstein
Roy Lichtenstein
Roy Lichtenstein was a prominent American pop artist. During the 1960s his paintings were exhibited at the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York City and along with Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, James Rosenquist and others he became a leading figure in the new art movement...

, and others. The cars, currently numbering 17, have been shown at the Louvre
Louvre
The Musée du Louvre – in English, the Louvre Museum or simply the Louvre – is one of the world's largest museums, the most visited art museum in the world and a historic monument. A central landmark of Paris, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement...

, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is a museum of modern and contemporary art, designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry, built by Ferrovial, and located in Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain. It is built alongside the Nervion River, which runs through the city of Bilbao to the Atlantic Coast. The...

, and, in 2009, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is an art museum in Los Angeles, California. It is located on Wilshire Boulevard along Museum Row in the Miracle Mile vicinity of Los Angeles, adjacent to the George C. Page Museum and La Brea Tar Pits....

 and New York's Grand Central Terminal
Grand Central Terminal
Grand Central Terminal —often incorrectly called Grand Central Station, or shortened to simply Grand Central—is a terminal station at 42nd Street and Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan in New York City, United States...

. BMW was the principal sponsor of the 1998 The Art of the Motorcycle
The Art of the Motorcycle
The Art of the Motorcycle was an exhibition that presented 114 motorcycles chosen for their historic importance or design excellence in a display designed by Frank Gehry in the curved rotunda of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City, running for three months...

exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is a well-known museum located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City, United States. It is the permanent home to a renowned collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, early Modern, and contemporary art and also features special exhibitions...

 and other Guggenheim museums, though the financial relationship between BMW and the Guggenheim was criticised in many quarters.

The 2006 "BMW Performance Series" was a marketing event geared to attract black car buyers, and featured the "BMW Pop-Jazz Live Series," a tour headlined by jazz musician Mike Phillips, and the "BMW Blackfilms.com Film Series" highlighting black filmmakers.

April Fools


BMW has garnered a reputation over the years for its April Fools pranks, which are printed in the British press every year. In 2010, they ran an advert announcing that customers would be able to order BMWs with different coloured badges to show their affiliation with the political party they supported.

South Africa


BMWs have been assembled in South Africa since 1968, when Praetor Monteerders' plant was opened in Rosslyn, near Pretoria
Pretoria
Pretoria is a city located in the northern part of Gauteng Province, South Africa. It is one of the country's three capital cities, serving as the executive and de facto national capital; the others are Cape Town, the legislative capital, and Bloemfontein, the judicial capital.Pretoria is...

. BMW initially bought shares in the company, before fully acquiring it in 1975; in so doing, the company became BMW South Africa, the first wholly owned subsidiary of BMW to be established outside Germany. Three unique models that BMW Motorsport
BMW Motorsport
BMW Motorsport is the division of BMW responsible for motorsport-related activities, including works-run competition programmes in touring car racing, sportscar racing and Formula One.-See also:* BMW M* BMW in motorsport* BMW Sauber* Schnitzer Motorsport...

 created for the South African market were the E23
BMW E23
The BMW E23 is the first BMW 7 Series luxury car, produced by the German automaker BMW. Replacing the BMW E3 large sedan, the E23 was produced for ten years from 1977 to 1987 and was replaced by the BMW E32 7 Series in 1986.-Design and features:...

 M745i (1983), which used the M88
BMW M88
The BMW M88/3 is an in line 6 cylinder piston engine. It was based on the M88/1 that was used in the BMW M1's street version, with double overhead cam and four valves per cylinder. The M88/1 was in turn based on the M49 engine which was used in the BMW 3.0CSi...

 engine from the BMW M1
BMW M1
The BMW M1 is a sports car that was produced by German automaker BMW from 1978 to 1981.In the late 1970s, Italian manufacturer Lamborghini entered into an agreement with BMW to build a production racing car in sufficient quantity for homologation. The result was sold to the public, from 1978 to...

, the BMW 333i (1986), which added a six-cylinder 3.2-litre M30
BMW M30
The BMW M30 is an inline-6 cylinder engine built by BMW and was used in many different models since 1968. It was originally developed in the late 1960s as an extended 2.5-liter version of the robust inline four-cylinder BMW M10 first used in the 'Neue Klasse' BMW 1500, with which it shares a...

 engine to the E30
BMW E30
The BMW E30 was a compact executive car produced by BMW. It was replaced by the BMW E36 in 1990. BMW continued to produce the cabriolet E30 well into 1993. The Touring remained in production until 1994 when the E36 touring replaced it...

, and the E30 BMW 325is (1989) which was powered by an Alpina
Alpina
Alpina Burkard Bovensiepen GmbH is an automobile manufacturing company based in Buchloe, in the Ostallgäu district of Bavaria, Germany selling their own cars, based on BMW cars....

-derived 2.7-litre engine.

Unlike U.S. manufacturers, such as Ford
Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is an American multinational automaker based in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. The automaker was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. In addition to the Ford and Lincoln brands, Ford also owns a small stake in Mazda in Japan and Aston Martin in the UK...

 and GM
General Motors
General Motors Company , commonly known as GM, formerly incorporated as General Motors Corporation, is an American multinational automotive corporation headquartered in Detroit, Michigan and the world's second-largest automaker in 2010...

, which divested from the country in the 1980s, BMW retained full ownership of its operations in South Africa. Following the end of apartheid in 1994, and the lowering of import tariffs, BMW South Africa ended local production of the 5-Series and 7-Series, in order to concentrate on production of the 3-Series for the export market. South African–built BMWs are now exported to right hand drive markets including Japan, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong, as well as Sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa as a geographical term refers to the area of the African continent which lies south of the Sahara. A political definition of Sub-Saharan Africa, instead, covers all African countries which are fully or partially located south of the Sahara...

. Since 1997, BMW South Africa has produced vehicles in left-hand drive for export to Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

, the United States and Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, as well as South America.

BMWs with a VIN
Vehicle identification number
A Vehicle Identification Number, commonly abbreviated to VIN, is a unique serial number used by the automotive industry to identify individual motor vehicles. VINs were first used in 1954...

 starting with "NC0" are manufactured in South Africa.

United States


BMW Manufacturing Co
BMW Manufacturing Co. Spartanburg
The BMW US Manufacturing Company in Greer, South Carolina is BMW's only US production facility. It was built to serve the demand of BMW automobiles directly in the US...

 has been manufacturing the X5
BMW X5
The BMW X5 is a luxury crossover SUV introduced in 1999 as the first generation E53. It was BMW's first SUV also known as "Four-by-Four" in the UK. It features all-wheel drive which is branded as the "X" drive system and is available with either manual or automatic transmission...

 and, more recently, the X6 in Greer
Greer, South Carolina
Greer is a city in Greenville and Spartanburg counties in the U.S. state of South Carolina, between the cities of Greenville and Spartanburg. The population was 25,515 at the 2010 census. It is projected to hit 30,000 within 4 years. Each day, more than three times that number of people pass...

 near Spartanburg
Spartanburg, South Carolina
thgSpartanburg is the largest city in and the county seat of Spartanburg County, South Carolina, United States. It is the second-largest city of the three primary cities in the Upstate region of South Carolina, and is located northwest of Columbia, west of Charlotte, and about northeast of...

, South Carolina, USA. The smaller X3 has began production in Spartanburg. BMW's with a VIN
Vehicle identification number
A Vehicle Identification Number, commonly abbreviated to VIN, is a unique serial number used by the automotive industry to identify individual motor vehicles. VINs were first used in 1954...

 starting with "4US and 5US" are manufactured in Spartanburg.

In 2010 BMW announced that it would spend $750 million to expand operations at the Spartanburg plant. This expansion will allow production of 240,000 vehicles a year and will make the plant the largest car factory in the United States by number of employees.

India


BMW India
BMW India
BMW India Private Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of BMW, headquartered in Gurgaon, Haryana.-Operations:BMW India made an initial investment of in its factory in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, with an initial capacity for 3000 cars. The factory started operations in March 2007. Its capacity has since...

 was established in 2006 as a sales subsidiary in Gurgaon
Gurgaon
Gurgaon is the second largest city in the Indian state of Haryana. Gurgaon is the industrial and financial center of Haryana. It is located 30 km south of national capital New Delhi, about 10 kilometers from Dwarka Sub City and 268 km south of Chandigarh, the state capital...

 (National Capital Region). A state-of-the-art assembly plant for BMW 3 and 5 Series started operation in early 2007 in Chennai
Chennai
Chennai , formerly known as Madras or Madarasapatinam , is the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal. Chennai is the fourth most populous metropolitan area and the sixth most populous city in India...

. Construction of the plant started in January 2006 with an initial investment of more than one billion Indian Rupees. The plant started operation in the first quarter of 2007 and produces the different variants of BMW 3 Series
BMW 3 Series
The BMW 3 Series is a compact executive car manufactured by the German automaker BMW since May 1975. Successor to the BMW New Class, it has been produced in five different generations and in no less than five different body styles. It is BMW's best-selling model, accounting for around 30% of the...

 and BMW 5 Series
BMW 5 Series
The BMW 5 Series is a mid-size / executive car manufactured by BMW since 1972. The car, now in its sixth generation, is sold in sedan and touring body styles....

.
In 2011, The Brand Trust Report
The Brand Trust Report
The Brand Trust Report, India Study, 2011 is published by Trust Research Advisory . The book is a result of a syndicated primary research on Brand Trust that generated 10,00,000 data points and 16,000 unique brands from over 10,000 hours of fieldwork conducted in 9 cities TRA’s study partners in...

, India study, ranked BMW as the 33rd most trusted brand in India.

China



Signing a deal in 2003 for the production of sedans in China, May 2004 saw the opening of a factory in the North-eastern city of Shenyang
Shenyang
Shenyang , or Mukden , is the capital and largest city of Liaoning Province in Northeast China. Currently holding sub-provincial administrative status, the city was once known as Shengjing or Fengtianfu...

 where Brilliance Automotive produces BMW-branded automobiles in a joint venture with the German company.

Canada


In October 2008, BMW Group Canada was named one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers
Greater Toronto's Top Employers
Greater Toronto's Top Employers is an annual competition that recognizes the best places to work in the Greater Toronto Area...

 by Mediacorp Canada Inc., which was announced by the Toronto Star
Toronto Star
The Toronto Star is Canada's highest-circulation newspaper, based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Its print edition is distributed almost entirely within the province of Ontario...

 newspaper.

Egypt


Bavarian Auto Group
Bavarian Auto Group
The Bavarian Auto Group is an Egyptian enterprise for manufacturing and selling BMW vehicles on the local market. It was founded by BMW in March 2003 as a competitor to the MB joint-venture Egyptian German Automotive Company within a joint-venture between the minister Ali El-Saiedi and the BMW...

 is a multinational group of companies established in March 2003 when it was appointed as the sole importer of BMW and Mini in Egypt, with monopoly rights for import, assembly, distribution, sales and after-sales support of BMW products in Egypt. Since that date, BAG invested a total amount of US$100 million distributed on seven companies and 11 premises in addition to three stores.

Currently, the facility enables Bavarian Auto the opportunity to offer a full range of locally assembled models; including the BMW 3 Series, 5 Series, 7 Series and X3 which. In combination with a new range of imported models; including the BMW 1 Series, 6 Series, X5, X6 and various Mini models.

See also


  • BMW Central Building
    BMW Central Building
    The BMW Central Building Located in Leipzig, Germany was the winning design submitted for competition by Pritzker Prize winning architect, Zaha Hadid. The central building is the nerve center for BMW's new $1.55 billion complex built to manufacture the BMW 3 Series Vehicle.-Concept:The BMW factory...

  • BMW CleanEnergy
    CleanEnergy
    BMW CleanEnergy vehicles have both a hydrogen and a petrol tank. If one of the tanks is empty, the bivalent BMW engine unit switches over automatically to the other fuel system. One decisive advantage of the combustion engine is bivalence...

  • BMW films
    BMW films
    The BMW film series, The Hire was a series of eight short films produced for the Internet in 2001 and 2002...

  • BMW Headquarters
    BMW Headquarters
    BMW Headquarters is a Munich landmark, which has been serving as world headquarters for the Bavarian automaker for over 30 years. It was declared a protected historic building in 1999. Extensive refurbishments commenced in 2004 and were completed in 2006....

  • iDrive
    IDrive
    iDrive is a computer system which is used to control most secondary vehicle systems in many current BMW cars. iDrive's user interface consists of a LCD panel mounted in the dashboard and a controller knob mounted on the center console....

  • BMW in motorsport
    BMW in motorsport
    Throughout its history, BMW cars and motorcycles have been successful in a range of motorsport activities. Mainly before World War II, BMW motorcycles were winning e.g. at the Isle of Man TT. Apart from the factory efforts, many privateer teams enter BMW road cars in Touring car racing. BMW also...

  • History of BMW
    History of BMW
    BMW AG originated with three other manufacturing companies, Rapp Motorenwerke and Bayerische Flugzeugwerke in Bavaria, and Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach in Thuringia. Aircraft engine manufacturer Rapp Motorenwerke became Bayerische Motorenwerke in 1916...

  • History of BMW motorcycles
  • List of BMW engines
  • Streetcarver
    Streetcarver
    The BMW Street Carver was a skateboard created by BMW. It had an extremely stiff wood and fiberglass deck and a unique steering system based on that of the BMW 5 Series cars....

    BMW Street Carver Skateboards

  • External links