The story of BMW goes back to the two company founders Karl Rapp and Gustav Otto – a son of the motor-inventor Nikolaus Otto. In 1916 the Bayerische Flugzeug-Werke AG (BFW) arose from the firm of Gustav Otto. One year later the Rapp Motorenwerke became Bayerische Motoren Werke GmbH, which was in 1918 transformed into an AG (incorporation). In 1922 the BMW AG transferred the manufacture of internal combustion engines including the firm- and brand-name to the BFW.
During the First World War the company had only produced aircraft engines, which was banned by the contract of Versailles after the end of the war. So they started, to make train-brakes and built-in motors. In 1923 the first BMW-motorcycle was evolved and the era of the vehicle manufacturing began.
In 1928 BMW assumed the vehicle-factory in Eisenach and got into the car-business. Since 1932 self-engineered models have also been produced there.
Since 1933 the production of aircraft engines has been promoted by the government and BMW founded its affiliate BMW Flugmotorenbau GmbH. In the Second World War forced labourers and KZ-prisoners were deployed in Allach as well as in Eisenach. At the end of the war the main-factory in Munich got destroyed and the production facilities in Eisenach was overtaken by the Russian occupying power.
In Munich the car production revived only after 1952. Certainly even with the produced upper class cars as well as with the microcar Isetta offered since 1955 there had been only made loss. So in the year 1959 it came to a head and the Daimler-Benz AG nearly assumed BMW. But due to the investment of the industrialist Herbert Quandt BMW was rehabilitated and soon launched its first medium-class car.
Since 1970 the company grew steady and new branches where build in Regensburg and Spandau, as well as in the countries Austria, South Africa and in the USA.
In the midst of the 1990s the buyout of the British car producer Rover failed and the company lost a lot of money. After different trials to gain ground in other industry sectors, today BMW is only focused on the automotive market.


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