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BMW Model List. Every BMW, Every Year.
The origin of BMW dates back to 1913, when Karl Friedrich Rapp formed Rapp Motoren Werke in a suburb of Munich. A well-known engineer in a German aircraft company, Rapp found that these engines had problems and suffered from excessive vibration. As a result, Rapp Motoren Werke contracted with Austro-Damier to build V12 Aero engines for aircrafts. The company saw success, expanding rapidly, but eventually Rapp resigned due to financial problems in 1916.
At that time, two Austrians, Franz Josef Popp and Maxx Friz took over Rapp Motoren Werke. Another airplane specialist, Gustav Otto, started building small aircraft in a small shop named as Gustav Flugmaschinefabrik. It was in March, 1916, that Rapp Motoren Werke merged with Gustav Flugmaschinefabrik to form Bayersiche Flugzeugwerke. During the war, and against the wishes of its director Franz Josef Popp, BMW placed its emphasis on aircraft engine production, with motorcycles as a side line and ceasing automobile production in its entirety. Due to the fact that BMW’s factories were heavily bombed during the war, its remaining west German facilities were banned from producing motor vehicles or aircrafts after the war.
It wasn’t until 1928, though, that automobiles became their business, with the first car sold as a BMW being a rebadged Dixi named the BMW 3/15. This followed BMW’s acquisition of the car manufacturer Automobilwerk Eisenach. In 1951, BMW was able to produce its first car since the war — a large saloon vehicle that sat comfortably up to six. While it was designed for the luxury market, this car did not succeed. But instead it played an important role in re-establishing BMW’s reputation as a leader in the area of technology and quality.
It was in 1962 with the introduction of the BMW New Class compact sedans that the beginnings of the automaker’s reputation of today. Throughout the 1960s, BMW continued to expand its range, adding coupe and luxury sedan models to its line up. They launched their large “New Six” sedans in 1968, including the 2500, 2800 and American Bavaria and coupes 2.5 CS and 2800 CS.
In 1971, BMW moved to its new and its current headquarters in Munich, a truly unique building based on a four cylinder engine. They introduced in 1972 the BMW 5 Series mid-size sedan range, followed by the BMW 3 Series luxury coupes in 1976 and the BMW 7 Series large luxury sedans in 1978. The rest as they say is history. The brand has established a reputation for performance and cutting-edge technology with a wide variety of modern models.
In 2021, BMW surged to the head of the global premium segment, selling over 2.5 million vehicles and beating out the likes of Mercedes Benz and Audi. The carmaker is set to capitalize on this strong showing in the future by upgrading existing models and expanding its portfolio of electric vehicles.