Founded in 1916 as an aircraft and motorcycle engine manufacturer, BMW was the result of a 3 company merger. Standing for “Bayerische Motoren Werke”, it wasn’t until 1928 that they actually introduced their first car. The company now ranks 12th in the global car production marketplace. BMW is one of only 3 German automobile manufacturing brands that also include VW-Audi and Mercedes-Benz. With an annual turnover that amounts to just over $110 billion, the company is an undisputed global player.
Along with many other surviving automobile industry giants, BMW has not been without its share of difficulties during its rise to the forefront of the industry. Many of its production plants were virtually destroyed during the Second World War as they were making engines for Germany’s aircraft at the time. The company also ended up paying reparation to Russia following the acquisition of many of its factories at the end of the war.
Following a ban on car building at the end of the war through till 1952, BMW survived and became a successful motorcycle manufacturer in the years after 1948. The early 1960’s saw the company narrowly avoiding bankruptcy along with a proposed merger involving Daimler Benz. The production of their new class of saloon cars from 1962 onwards has been attributed to their successful turnaround.
Following the collapse of UK Rover Group and their subsequent acquisition of the company, BMW now holds the iconic Mini and Rolls Royce brands. Referred to as “the most reputable company in the world” by Forbes in 2012, BMW looks set to continue producing its high-quality brands well into the future.
- Listed on Germany’s DAX30 index, renowned brand, BMW has recently experienced market growth in the Asian sector. This spike in sales is largely attributed to the evolving upper-class consumer population in China. As electric cars become more of an environmental and government-driven factor, the company is further investing in this area too.
- Due to the cost of developing new electric and autonomous vehicles, BMW has partnered with the rental company Sixt. This joint venture initiated in 2011 revolves around a car sharing scheme and it is also being offered in the US from 2016 in a rebranded form known as ReachNow.
- In response to a slide in their market share at the hands of main rivals Mercedes-Benz, the company is set to launch a new range of models and remodelled vehicles in the very near future.
- Like most global vehicle manufacturers, BMW is being constantly called upon to plough potential profits back into redevelopment costs. In spite of this and its tough trading history, the company has seen recent increases in sales and the outlook remains positive.
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