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BMW The history of


BMW AG originated with three other manufacturing companies Rapp Motorenwerke and Bayerische Flugzeugwerke (BFw) in Bavaria, and Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach in Thuringia. Aircraft engine manufacturer Rapp Motorenwerke became Bayerische Motorenwerke in 1916. The engine manufacturer, which built proprietary industrial engines after World War I was then bought by the owner of BFw who then merged BFw into BMW and moved the engine works onto BFw's premises. BMW became an automobile manufacturer in 1929. BMW's team of engineers progressively developed their cars from small Seven-based cars into six-cylinder luxury cars in 1936, began production of the BMW 328 sports car. Aircraft engines, motorcycles, and automobiles would be BMW's main products until World War II. During the war against the wishes of its director Franz Josef Popp, BMW concentrated on aircraft engine production, with motorcycles as a side line and automobile manufacture stopped altogether. After the war, BMW survived by making pots, pans, and bicycles until 1948, when it restarted motorcycle production. Meanwhile, BMW's factory in Eisenach fell in the Soviet occupation zone and the Soviets restarted production of pre-war BMW motorcycles and automobiles there. This continued until 1955, after which they concentrated on cars based on pre-war DKW designs. BMW began building cars in Bavaria in 1952 with the BMW 501 luxury saloon. Sales of their luxury saloons were too small to be profitable, so BMW supplemented this with building Isettas under licence. Quandt's investment along with profits from the BMW 700, brought about the BMW New Class and BMW New Six. These new products, along with the absorption of Hans Glas GmbH, gave BMW a sure footing on which to expand. BMW grew in strength, eventually acquiring the Rover Group and the license to build automobiles under the Rolls-Royce marque. BMW won several awards in recent years e.g. the Honourable Mention int he I.D. Design Award, the Green Good Design, the Winner Automotive Brand Contest and the iF Product Design Award. Among the technological innovations exceed the aircraft engine with aluminium pistons, the hydraulic front fork, the aluminium V8 engine, the three-way catalytic convertor and the fully-variable valve-train control.
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