BMW

BMW logo

BMW (UK) Ltd
Summit Avenue
Farnborough, GU14 0FB

Customer service: 0370 5050 160
bmw.co.uk/contact-us/customer-services
twitter.com/BMW_UK

BMW Financial Services: 0370 5050 150
bmw.co.uk/contact-us/financial-services

BMW IN THE NEWS AT THE CAR EXPERT

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BMW REVIEWS AT THE CAR EXPERT

BMW 2 Series Active Tourer review (The Car Expert)

BMW 2 Series Active Tourer review

In today’s competitive market many long-held definitions are being broken, and in no car is this more true than in the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer.

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The car that launched BMW…

Did you know that the first car to be badged a BMW was a licenced copy of an Austin 7 called Dixi back in 1928? This article explains the history behind BMW's first production car. (sponsored post)
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Financing your BMW company car

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ABOUT BMW

BMW UK is a fully-owned subsidiary of BMW AG, a German car and motorcycle manufacturer based in Munich, Bavaria.

The company started life as an aircraft engine manufacturer named RMW (Rapp Motor Works) in 1913, and became BMW (Bavarian Motor Works) in 1917. The company began building motorcycles in 1918 and did not make its first car until 1927. That first model was actually a licenced version of an Austin 7, and was named the Dixi.

BMW’s main focus remained aero engine and motorcycle production, although it also produced some outstanding cars in the inter-war period – the famous BMW 328 being one. With the onset of World War II, BMW once again devoted its resources to producing aircraft engines for the German military. Its facilities were extensively bombed by the Allies, with the Munich facility completely destroyed.

After the war, BMW survived by selling kitchen supplies and bicycles. Motorcycle production resumed in 1948, but car production did not restart until 1952. With the German economy still struggling, BMW was far more successful building motorcycles than cars. It struck a deal to build the Isetta bubble car under licence from Iso, and ended up building more than 160,000 of the little vehicles over its lifespan. However, the company was still struggling.

A proposal to merge with Daimler-Benz (parent company to Mercedes-Benz) in 1959 was voted down, and the company ended up with a majority holding being purchased by the Quandt family. Under its new ownership, BMW concentrated on building compact sporting cars. The move was a success and the company’s fortunes turned around in only a few years. Its reputation for sporting luxury vehicles remains to this day despite a massive range proliferation away from sporting saloons.

In the 1990s, BMW embarked on an ultimately unsuccessful purchase of the Rover Group. Brands like MINI and Land Rover were successfully rehabilitated, but Rover itself was a disaster. Land Rover was sold to Ford and Rover was sold to an infamous consortium called Phoenix, which rapidly collapsed amid allegations of financial misconduct. BMW also purchased the Rolls-Royce brand after a bidding war with Volkswagen.

BMW today sells nearly 2 million cars each year around the world, as well as over 130,000 motorcycles. MINI adds more than 300,000 vehicles per year to that total, and Rolls-Royce another 3,000+ vehicles annually.

In Britain, BMW UK has experienced strong growth in recent years. More than 167,000 new cars were registered in 2015, a 12% increase on 2014 figures.

Contrary to popular belief, the BMW logo does not represent a propellor as a nod to its aircraft engine origins. The blue-and-white ‘propellor’ is actually a representation of the blue-and-white chequered state flag of Bavaria.

BMW IN THE FORUM AT THE CAR EXPERT

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