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Over the past 100 years, much has been achieved by the Munich-based BMW Group, from an aircraft engine manufacturer to a leading premium motoring marque.

09 Jun 2016

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Over the past 100 years, much has been achieved by the Munich-based BMW Group, from an aircraft engine manufacturer to the leading premium motoring marque that it is today.
On 7th March 2016, BMW Group celebrated 100 years of existence as a company. Over this period of time, the small aero-engine manufacturer based in the north of Munich has been transformed into a world-leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles, as well as a provider of premium finance and mobility services.

On the route to this status, BMW has always proved to be a highly innovative company, which has defined change and looked to the future. Today, the BMW Group is an international group of companies with production and assembly facilities in 14 countries and a global sales network.

Looking at the history of the BMW Group reveals a large variety of events and decisions, which exerted a sustainable impact on the development of the company, while at the same time, being an expression of its character.

Here's a quick recap on some of the key milestones that it has gone through.

BMW IV Aero-engine
Bayerische Motoren Werke, German for Bavarian Motor Works or BMW, was formed on March 7th 1916 as Bayerische Flugzeugwerke (BFW), a company that primarily made airplane engines.

On 17th June 1919, test pilot Zeno Diemer reached an altitude of 9,760m in his aircraft manufactured by Dutsche Flugzeugwerke and powered by the BMW IV, a six-cylinder, water-cooled in-line engine, setting both a new world and altitude record.

BMW R32
After years of design, redesign and innovation, the first motorcycle to be badged as a BMW, the R32, was produced in 1923. The model was the first motorcycle powered by a horizontally opposed twin-cylinder Boxer engine, featuring a manual gearbox bolted directly to the engine and power transmission along a shaft of a chain or belt. These key attributes remain defining characteristics for BMW motorcycles with Boxer, or flat-twin, engines to the present day.
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