Brief history of… BMW

Munich. 1916. Parent of MINI and Rolls-Royce. From  aircrafts to Formula 1. There is much in the commercial world that defines Bavarian Motor Works’ rich history and organizational values. For most of us however, it continues to remain the renowned “roundel”. Let’s take a further look…

1917: Aircraft engines are the trade. After one year of establishment, a clear and sportive design is registered. The national colours of Bavaria (sky blue and white) are embossed on a newly-designed logo that would change the automobile industry forever. (Note that some brand enthusiasts claim these colors represented a propeller blade spinning amongst clear sky)

1923: Starting to develop the R32 motorcycle (showcased at Berlin Automobile Show), the logo is refined. Most noticeably, the smoothening and polishing of gold borders sets it apart from that six years earlier.

1936: Featured on the newly-developed 328 Roadster (nominated for car of the century), the iconic design continues to undergo a minor rebuff. Wave goodbye to gold finishing. Clean-cut, white typography is in.

1954: Retail car production hits full throttle- design is still sharp as ever and mechanical constructions beautifully combine both strength and silence. Depth is added to an original colour scheme with a sleek new font. Commercially executed over all-aluminium V8 engines marked the modern driving machine we know today.

1972: BMW Motorsport is founded. With a renovated HQ in Munich and new product factory in South Africa, the future looks bright for the Bavarians. A European Formula 2 Championship, European Touring Car Champion and World Sidecar Champion would follow.

2001: Shimmer and shine. From the turn of the new millennium, BMW enjoys commercial success with the motor company’s 1 Series. Small, family-orientated hatchbacks and convertibles were a must-have for affluent professionals- a quotidian iconography that continues to lend itself to BMW’s existing business model in spite of ever-changing car markets.


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