The German carmaker BMW is renowned for producing some of the most iconic motor vehicle designs during the last fifty years. Their logo is recognisable around the world, and the brand has become a symbol of luxury. Still, there are lots of interesting facts most people don’t seem to know about the company. With that in mind, automobile enthusiasts are going to love this post. After performing a lot of research, we’ve come up with some truly fascinating snippets of information that everyone should read. Contrary to popular belief, BMW is not just another fly-by-night car firm. Over the years, people working for that organisation have done some astonishing things. So, let’s take a look at some of the most exciting facts about this upmarket automobile legend.
BMW started out making aircraft engines
BMW first came into existence during World War 1 because the German government was short on parts for its fleet of aircraft. Buying the items from overseas proved difficult due to trade restrictions and the fact that the country was in the middle of a war. The company made an incredible profit from the venture, and successfully assisted Germany in boosting their efforts. However, under the Treaty of Versailles, the German government was no longer allowed to produce airplanes after 1919. By 1920, BMW decided to shift their efforts towards motorcycles, and by 1927, the company began to focus their ambitions on automobiles. Were it not for the fact that Germany became involved in the conflict, BMW might never have become a household name.
BMW almost became part of Mercedes
In the late 1950s, BMW risked bankruptcy after a series of systematic failures. The Cold War didn’t help the situation, and money was tight. In an attempt to perform a hostile takeover, the parent company behind Mercedes tried to buy the firm. They made a point of employing redundant ex-workers in the hope of making the deal. However, eventually, a private investor came to the aid of BMW and assisted the brand in getting back on track. Still, for a while there, it looked as though Mercedes might have taken over and closed the company down. The situation was not unlike the ones we see today where Google buys their smallest competitors to control the market.
The BMW logo isn’t a spinning propeller
Most people tend to think the BMW logo is made up of a spinning propeller. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, the image represents the national colours of Bavaria. That’s the area of Germany where the firm first launched their first aircraft parts all those years ago. The blue and white colours were part of the Bavarian regional flag back then. So, the company just wanted to show some national pride when they first developed the logo. The original graphic was designed in-house at Bayerische Motoren Werke. Unfortunately, nobody knows the name of the person who came up with the concept. Still, it’s probably one of the most recognisable logos in the world. So, that individual should give themselves a well-earned pat on the back.
BMW produced their first electric car in 1972
The world is going mad for electric and hybrid vehicles at the moment. Most people seem to think they’re a new concept, but that just isn’t true. BMW created their first electric model in 1972! Unfortunately, the design never became commercially available, and there are some obvious reasons for that. The battery left a lot to be desired, and performance levels were not as BMW customers would expect. However, the vehicle still managed to travel at decent speeds all things considered. Reviewers from the time said the battery would cut out after around twenty minutes. Still, for the first attempt at electric travel, that isn’t too bad. The action also helps to highlight how this manufacturer has always led the way when it comes to innovation.
BMW built the world’s first motorcycle
Motorcycles were always going to be a difficult concept to master. However, BMW successfully bought the first one to the marketplace in 1937. The vehicle had a supercharged engine, and it could reach speeds of 278 km/hr. It’s still possible to find models from that time in motorbike museums. However, anyone who wants to purchase one will have to carefully manage your debt because they sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. So, it’s probably best to just buy some museum tickets and take a look from behind the rope. BMW managed to break the mold when they released that bike onto the market. It led to immense success, and the company reportedly produced 82,000 motorcycle models by 2009.
BMW has a slogan
Here is a shocking fact most people don’t seem to know. Contrary to popular belief, the carmaker BMW has a slogan! The phrase has been in use for more than thirty-five years, so it’s rather odd that most folks can’t repeat it. Anyone who’s ever seen an advert for a BMW car on the television will have seen these words written somewhere on the screen. Even so, the vast majority of people have never paid attention. So, here goes:
BMW’s slogan is: “The ultimate driving machine.”
Does that ring any bells? Probably not, right? Still, it’s a term the company has used to promote its products for almost four decades. Look for it the next time a promotional clip pops up on the TV.
Those were six mostly unknown facts about the German carmaker BMW. Be sure to remember them because nobody knows when the information might help them to win a pub quiz. Whatever people think about the company, BMW has achieved more success than almost every other brand over the years. From aircraft engines to the first motorcycle. From electric cars to attractive logos, the people behind that world-renowned brand name are the most innovative and creative minds in the industry. Did we miss anything important? Are there other fascinating facts about BMW we need to consider? Let us know in the comments.