BMW is owned by the parent company, BMW group. It has an eventful history, including early connections to the Natzi government in Germany to several close calls with financial devastation. BMW was the highest-ranked brand among luxury car manufacturers, followed by Lexus in fifth place, with Audi and Porsche right behind until 2022. This year it has slipped to a still respectable third place.

How the Company Got Started

Bayerische Flugzeugwerke, formerly Otto Flugmaschinenfabrik, was established in 1916 as an aircraft company. BMW’s first product was an aircraft engine named the BMW IIIa. This engine began the enterprise in 1917.  BMW remained in business by producing motorcycle engines, farm equipment, household items, and railway brakes after WW1 ended. The company’s first motorcycle, the BMW R32, was built in 1923. BMW became an automobile manufacturer in 1928 when it purchased Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach. The first car sold as a BMW was a rebadged Dixi called the BMW 3/15. The Dixi had been the brand name of vehicles made by Automobilwerk Eisenach starting in 1904.

Aircraft engines, motorcycles, and automobiles would be BMW’s main products until World War II. BMW concentrated on aircraft engine production during the war, and its motorcycles became just a sideline. Automobile manufacture stopped altogether. BMW’s factories were devastatingly destroyed by bombing during the war.  The remaining West German factories were banned from producing motor vehicles or aircraft after the war. The Natzi regiment had lost control of Germany.

The company survived by making pots, pans, and bicycles.  BMW restarted motorcycle production in 1948. BMW resumed car production in Bavaria in 1952 with the luxurious BMW 501. The variety of cars was expanded in 1955 when the cheaper Isetta microcar was produced. A lack of sales of its luxury cars and tiny profit margins from microcars landed BMW in financial trouble. The company was nearly taken over by rival Daimler-Benz in 1959. A significant investment in BMW by brothers Herbert Quandt and Harald Quandt allowed the company to survive as its own entity.

The 1962  BMW revealed a new class of compact sedans and the beginning of BMW’s reputation as a top manufacturer of sports cars. BMW expanded its line by adding coupe and luxury sedan models during the 1960s. The company acquired the Rover Group in 1994, but the takeover didn’t go as planned, and it caused BMW terrible financial losses. In 2000, BMW sold off most Rover brands, retaining only Mini. BMW acquired the rights to the Rolls-Royce brand in 1998.

Back in Germany, the 1995 E38 7 Series 725tds was the first 7 Series to use a diesel engine. BMW’s first mass-production turbocharged gas engine was the six-cylinder BMW N54, which was introduced in the 2006 E92 3 Series 335i model. In 2011, the F30 3 Series was released, with turbocharged engines being used on all models. This changeover to turbocharging and smaller engines responded to general automotive industry trends. BMW released their first electric car, the BMW i3 city car, in 2013. This push to all-electric cars is the latest automotive industry effort to be more environmentally friendly.

History of the Logo

The iconic BMW logo, presented in the colors of Bavaria, a federal state in the southeast of Germany region, depicts a  geometric image, resembling an airplane propeller. This shape is rooted at the beginning of its history. The company specialized in propelled manufacturing. It remains the brand’s legacy and logo.

BMW Logo History

BMW Brands

The BMW Brands include BMWi, BMW M, and MINI. All these brands reflect BMWs dedication to luxury and sustainability. The BMW M offers evidence of why BMW is known for luxury sports cars.

BMW i offers sustainable, customer-oriented mobility solutions without sacrifice. Visionary BMW i electric vehicles lead alternative drive trains, lightweight design, and aerodynamics.

BMW M stands for highly-dynamic driving fascination. The passion of its engineers makes BMW M a pioneer in authentic motor-racing functionality with exclusive, sporty aesthetic appeal.

MINI is straightforward, sincere, and authentic. MINI blends creativity with cleverness, offering an open platform for people, design, and a vibrant urban lifestyle.


BMW was the best-selling premium brand in the US in 2011, 2012, 2014, and 2015, only interrupted by Mercedes-Benz in 2013. Lexus held the title for 11 straight years before that. 2016 to 2018 Mercedes was back at the top, but BMW came back strong in 2019 to reclaim the crown. In 2020 BMW reported over $113,000,000 in sales. The chart below shows their growth and overall sales since 1970, according to CarSalesBase.

BMW Sales

Types of Vehicles

BMW manufactures sedans, coupes, convertibles, and SAVs ( Sports Activity Vehicle). SAV refers to SUVs with a sporty approach and aesthetic. All these models offer upgrades and core versions. BMW offers vehicles to fit every lifestyle. Here’s a list of the models currently available:


Avg Asking Price



Used: $29,545

New: $35,400

The possibilities are limitless with the 2022 BMW X1 Sports Activity Vehicle®. Design enhancements and convenience features can turn everyday drives into spontaneous adventures.

Used: $32,501

New: $36,600

With these engrossing design options, plus standard BMW technology and safety features, nothing will slow your drive for adventure in the X2.

Used: $24,002

New: $28,550

Adventure is calling louder than ever. The new BMW X3 models deliver all-terrain performance, power, and efficiency in a rugged utility vehicle.

Used: $47,948

New: $51,800

Conquer the road ahead. The new BMW X4 models meld performance, power, and efficiency with coupe-inspired stylings.

Used: $54,250

New: $60,600

Equipped with advanced engineering and impressive design, the BMW X5 gets you where you need to be.

Used: $63,173

New: $67,350

Transformative design. Convenient features. Connected technology. The 2022 BMW X6 Sports Activity Coupe was designed to fit perfectly into your life.

Used: $70,500

New: $74,900

Enjoy a curated collection of life-improving technology in the 2022 BMW X7 SAV – from standard safety features to cutting-edge developments in onboard driver assistance systems.

Used: $31,248

New: $35,700

Conquer every corner with a compact sports coupe designed for the driving enthusiast.

Used: $37,323

New: $41,450

The original sports sedan adds exhilaration to your every drive with stunning design features, innovative technology, and engine efficiency.

Used: $45,200

New: $52,992

Modern aesthetics, advanced engineering, and exceptional technology capture the essence of sportiness in the 2022 BMW 4 Series Coupe.

Used: $49,247

New: $54,200

The 2022 BMW 5 Series Sedan proves to be the authority in style and innovation with advancements in technology, engineering, and exterior design.

Used: $78,918

New: $86,800

Imbued with legendary performance and the defining elements of luxury, the 7 Series earned its place as BMW’s flagship full-size sedan.


New: $85,000

Setting the bar for design and engineering, the 8 Series Coupe is the perfect combination of enthralling heritage and bold new experiences integrated as one.

Used: $42,544


Powerful engines. Connective technology. And a thrill to drive. The 2022 BMW Z4 Roadster is exclusively for those who embrace the excitement of the open road.

BMW M Series

Used: $125,6778

New: $133,000

Packed with power and made to maneuver, BMW M excels on the track and in the street. And after four decades of hair-raising thrills, it’s still pushing the limits. Grip the wheel of any of our M vehicles – from coupes and convertibles to Sports Activity Vehicles® – and elevate your adrenaline rushes to a higher level.

Used: Unavailable

New: $83,200

Cutting-edge performance, technology, and luxury – with the comfort of a midsized SAV. Meet the 2022 BMW iX: the new electric standard.

Used: $49,875

New: $55,400

The latest fifth-generation eDrive technology meets hallmark BMW engineering in a pair of all-electric vehicles primed to change everything about the way you drive.

Most Popular Model

The 3 Series is BMW’s compact sedan and the most popular BMW model. It has been beloved since it was revealed in 1976, and it is BMW’s best-selling vehicle of all time. The seventh generation was launched in 2019. BMW halted the wagon and Gran Turismo body style and manual transmission in the U.S. market. The 3 series is available in a 255-hp four-cylinder, a 288-hp plug-in hybrid, and a 382-hp six-cylinder version. The newest BMW M3 and M4 performance cars topped their German, Italian and Japanese rivals.

Geographic Popularity

China is the number one consumer of BMW model vehicles. In 2020, China was the largest sales market for BMW. China accounted for around 33.5 percent of Rolls-Royce, BMW, and MINI sales. Chinese customers bought more than 778,700 vehicles in the 2020 fiscal year. This is more than twice as many vehicles than sold in its home country Germany.

BMW Geographic Popularity

Sustainability & Safety

BMW continues to plan for its future market and lead in sustainability and safety without losing any of its luxuries. SAV or Coupes, the future will continue to have the sporty look and remain a premium line. Electric models and the latest safety information are always at the forefront of future plans.

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