BMW Through The Years
BMW, which stands for Bavarian Motor Works, was founded in the early 1910s and originally manufactured aircraft engines. Following Germany's defeat in World War I the company was ordered to cease aircraft engine production and eventually turned its efforts to motorcycle production. BMW began work on its first automobile, the Dixi, in 1928. The Dixi was a success, as was the Type 328 roadster that followed it. The Type 328 sold well and proved to be a dominant force on the European motorsport circuit throughout the mid to late 1930s.
During Germany's rearmament in the 1930s and throughout World War II, BMW was pressed into service to make engines for the Luftwaffe. These engines included the BMW 132 and BMW 801 air-cooled radial engines. However, like much of German industries, BMW struggled to find its feet in the postwar era. In 1959, the company acquired the rights to the tiny Iso Isetta, an economical Italian micro car. BMW introduced a modified version, powered by a BMW motorcycle engine, which was successful enough to help the company stabilize.
BMW really began to enjoy success as a brand during the 1960s, thanks in large part to a line of compact sedans and coupes the company issued known as the New Class. This compact line of performance minded vehicles included models such as the 1600 and the 2002, which helped BMW cement its reputation as an international brand. In the 1970s, BMW began producing cars and offering its drivers innovative new automotive technologies such as turbo charging and advanced electronics.
BMW in America
BMW North America was established in the 1970s. The cars BMW produced during this era, which combined the performance qualities of European sports cars with luxury features and comforts, proved to be a hit in the U.S. It was during this same period that BMW first introduced its three-tier range of sport sedans, which consisted then as it does today of the 3 Series, 5 Series, and 7 Series.
BMWs grew increasingly popular in the United States throughout the 1980s and 1990s as more Americans were drawn in by the brand's attractive combination of performance and luxury. In the late 1990s, BMW even opened a U.S. manufacturing plant and acquired the Rolls Royce and Mini brands.
BMW launched its smallest car, the 1 Series, in 2004. The 1 Series is available as a coupe, convertible or hatchback. The compact executive 3 Series, which was first unveiled in 1975, is also still available and is now in its fifth generation.
The BMW 5 Series is a midsize executive car that's available both as a sedan and as a station wagon. The larger 5 Series Gran Turismo was released in 2010 and is regarded as being somewhere between a station wagon and a crossover SUV.
The 7 Series is BMW's current flagship executive sedan. The 7 Series is where BMW usually introduces its latest innovations in automotive technology. Meanwhile, the BMW 6 Series is a grand touring, luxury sport coupe that's also currently available as a convertible. BMW also produces the Z4, a sporty two-seater that's available as a convertible roadster and as a coupe.
The X5 is BMW's midsize luxury all-wheel drive SUV. Slightly smaller is the BMW X3, a crossover SUV that was introduced in 2003.
BMW also currently offers many innovative models such as the X6, which is a compact crossover SUV that's marketed as a sport activity coupe and the X1, another compact crossover SUV.
BMW Products and Technologies
Today BMWs are among the most popular cars available in the American automobile market. Drivers appreciate BMW for the wide range of vehicles the company offers. Nowadays, BMW produces everything from high performance sports cars to spacious SUVs, to grand luxury cars and family wagons. The BMWs today feature the same levels of innovation, performance, and luxury that made BMW one of the most successful European automotive brands in history.
The BMW brand is internationally recognized as being a quality producer of stylish vehicles that offer the performance of a powerful sports car coupled with the luxury of an elegant European luxury sedan. Many of the models that have been introduced in the popular 3 Series, 5 Series, and 7 Series throughout the years have come to define the very segment of the vehicle market it inhabits.